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BACKGROUND: Preterm birth (PTB) is one of the main causes of neonatal deaths globally, with approximately 15 million infants are born preterm. Women from the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) populations maybe at higher risk of PTB, therefore, the mental health impact on mothers experiencing a PTB is particularly important, within the BAME populations. AIM: To determine the prevalence of mental health conditions among BAME women with PTB as well as the methods of mental health assessments used to characterise the mental health outcomes. METHODS: A systematic methodology was developed and published as a protocol in PROSPERO (CRD42020210863). Multiple databases were used to extract relevant data. I 2 and Egger's tests were used to detect the heterogeneity and publication bias. A trim and fill method was used to demonstrate the influence of publication bias and the credibility of conclusions. RESULTS: Thirty-nine studies met the eligibility criteria from a possible 3526. The prevalence rates of depression among PTB-BAME mothers were significantly higher than full-term mothers with a standardized mean difference of 1.5 and a 95% confidence interval (CI) 29%-74%. The subgroup analysis indicated depressive symptoms to be time sensitive. Women within the very PTB category demonstrated a significantly higher prevalence of depression than those categorised as non-very PTB. The prevalence rates of anxiety and stress among PTB-BAME mothers were significantly higher than in full-term mothers (odds ratio of 88% and 60% with a CI of 42%-149% and 24%-106%, respectively). CONCLUSION: BAME women with PTB suffer with mental health conditions. Many studies did not report on specific mental health outcomes for BAME populations. Therefore, the impact of PTB is not accurately represented in this population, and thus could negatively influence the quality of maternity services they receive.

Original publication




Journal article


World J Psychiatry

Publication Date





1233 - 1254


Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic, Mental health, Preterm birth, Preterm labor, Wellbeing, Women’s health