Risk and Protective Factors for Depressive Symptoms for Men and Women in Kumasi, Ghana
Depression is the leading cause of disease burden for women in low-income countries, and the third most important cause of disease burden for men and women combined. However, very little research has been done on the risk and protective factors for depressive symptoms in low-income settings. While evidence from high-income countries is a useful starting point, additional formative research is needed to determine whether the experience of depression is the same across diverse settings, and to identify contextually appropriate interventions. Toward that end, my dissertation research will use a mixed methods approach to explore risk and protective factors for depressive symptoms among men and women in Kumasi, Ghana. There are two main components of my PhD research: 1. Quantitative data analysis using data from the Family Health and Wealth Study (FHWS), a cohort study implemented in Ghana in partnership with JHSPH. 2. Qualitative data collection and analysis in the FHWS site. This second component is the focus of this application for funding. Using the GHFRA, I hope to conduct in-depth interviews with local healthcare providers and focus groups with male and female community members to explore local understandings of depressive symptoms and their risk and protective factors. The results will be used to inform the other components of my PhD research, as well as future research and practice focused on locally-appropriate mental health interventions.