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Characteristics of patients seen by a community perinatal mental health service

  • Amanullah Durrani (a1) and Roch Cantwell (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Recent guidelines on perinatal mental health highlight the need to predict, detect and prevent mental illness in childbearing women, but there are a limited number of studies in this field. This study describes the characteristics of 277 service users newly referred to a specialist community perinatal mental health service over 1 year, and discusses the implications for effective management of mental illness related to childbearing.

Results

The most common diagnosis was affective disorder (51%), of which 8% had bipolar affective disorder. Almost three in five women had previous non-pregnancy-related psychiatric contact and a fourth had previous ante/postnatal psychiatric contact. More than half were on medication at conception, most commonly antidepressants (43%).

Clinical Implications

This study highlights the opportunities for identifying women at high risk of postnatal mental illness and the need for adequate pregnancy planning advice for women taking psychotropic medication.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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2 North East London Strategic Health Authority (NELSHA). Report of an Independent Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Daksha Emson and Her Daughter Freya. NELSHA, 2003.
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5 Cohen, LS, Altshuler, LL, Harlow, BL, Nonacs, R, Newport, DJ, Viguera, AC, et al. Relapse of major depression during pregnancy in women who maintain or discontinue antidepressant medication. JAMA 2006; 295: 499–50.
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12 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. RCOG Statement No.5: Alcohol Consumption and the Outcomes of Pregnancy. RCOG, 2006.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Characteristics of patients seen by a community perinatal mental health service

  • Amanullah Durrani (a1) and Roch Cantwell (a2)
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