Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112-116

Psychosocial and cultural aspects of pseudocyesis

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
2 Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, New Haven, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Perpetus C Ibekwe
P. O. Box 1019, Abakaliki, 4800001, Ebonyi State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.42398

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Though considered rare in the developed countries, pseudocyesis is fairly common in gynecological practices in Africa. Using a case report and an overview of the literature, this paper posits that the elucidation of the psychosocial and cultural contexts within which a given patient lives can provide a basis for the empathic understanding of the reasons for the development of pseudocyesis. The case underscores the contributions of extreme poverty, relationship instability, and recurrent partner abuse in the enactment of pseudocyesis within a culture that treasures children for economic survival and generational continuity. The awareness of this cultural dimension is considered relevant to effective clinical care.



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