Implementing innovative evidence-based perinatal mental health screening for women of refugee background

Willey, Suzanne M., Gibson-Helm, Melanie E., Finch, Tracy, East, Christine E., Khan, Nadia N., Boyd, Leanne M. and Boyle, Jacqueline A. (2019) Implementing innovative evidence-based perinatal mental health screening for women of refugee background. Women and Birth. ISSN 1871-5192 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.05.007

Abstract

Problem
National guidelines recommend repeated screening for depression and anxiety for all women in the perinatal period. Routine screening in pregnancy is limited due to service, community and individual barriers.

Background
Perinatal depression and perinatal anxiety affect up to 20% of all women. Women of refugee background are at even greater risk for perinatal mental health conditions due to refugee experiences and resettlement stressors.

Aim
To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a perinatal mental health screening program for women of refugee background from the perspective of health professionals.

Methods
A mixed methods design guided by the Normalization Process Theory was used. Data were collected at a dedicated refugee antenatal clinic in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. An online survey (n = 38), focus groups (n = 2; 13 participants) and semi-structured interviews (n = 8; 11 participants) with health professionals were conducted.

Findings
Under the four constructs of the Normalization Process Theory, health professionals reported improvements in identifying and referring women with mental health issues, more open and in-depth conversations with women about mental health and valued using an evidenced-based measure. Key issues included professional development, language barriers and time constraints.

Discussion
Implementing a perinatal mental health screening program has been positively received. Strategies for sustainability include professional development and the addition of audio versions of the measures.

Conclusion
This perinatal mental health screening program is acceptable and a feasible option for health professionals. Health professionals value providing more holistic care and have more open discussion with women about mental health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Women, Refugee and asylum seeker, Perinatal mental health, Screening, Evaluation
Subjects: B700 Nursing
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2019 09:42
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 17:47
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/39741

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