Exploring Maternal Mental Health in Central Vietnam through Community-Based Participatory Research
This chapter describes how a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach was used to explore postnatal depression (PND) in a central Vietnamese province. It also describes the research study that took place within the context of a bilateral university collaboration, which has a long-term commitment to improving public health systems in Vietnam through developing university curriculum and teaching in public health. The study aims to investigate Vietnamese health professionals' beliefs about the causes and social determinants of PND and to describe existing pathways to care, support and treatment using a CBPR approach. Whereas the values of a CBPR approach are appealing, and there are benefits to using this approach within international collaborations, there are also ethical challenges that must be considered. These include the nature of participation between partners, community representation and research accountability to international institutions. Participants with a biomedical background identified pain, infection, hormonal changes, and the stress of delivery and a history of mental illness as causes of PND.