Gender transformative interventions for perinatal mental health in low and middle income countries: A scoping review
Perinatal mental health problems are linked to poor outcomes for mothers, babies and families. In the context of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), a leading risk factor is gender disparity. Addressing gender disparity, by involving fathers, mothers in law and other family members can significantly improve perinatal and maternal healthcare, including risk factors for poor perinatal mental health such as domestic violence and poor social support. This highlights the need to develop and implement gender-transformative (GT) interventions that seek to engage with men and reduce or overcome gender-based constraints. This scoping review aimed to highlight existing gender transformative interventions from LMIC that specifically aimed to address perinatal mental health (partner violence, anxiety or depression and partner support) and identify components of the intervention that were found to be useful and acceptable. This review follows the five-stage Arksey and O’Malley framework and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist. Six papers that met the inclusion criteria were included in the review (four from Africa and two from Asia). Common components of gender transformative interventions across studies included couple-based interventions and discussion groups. Gender inequity and related factors are a strong risk for poor perinatal mental health and the dearth of studies highlights the strong need for better evidence of GT interventions in this area.