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Psychological services for women giving birth in a large Irish tertiary referral maternity unit

  • Aileen McAuliffe (a1), Noirin E. Russell (a1) and Joanne Fenton (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To investigate whether women were being asked about their current and previous mental health, and where risk factors for perinatal mental health problems were identified, to determine whether appropriate referral occurred. Individual case-note review was performed on women where present or past mental health problems were indicated.

Results

In two-thirds of women where a history of mental health problems was indicated at the booking clinic this was not addressed in their obstetric case notes. Of the women who reported being depressed, nearly a third had no reference to this in their obstetric case notes and only 40% were referred to the Mental Health Liaison Clinic (MHLC). Two-thirds of the women who indicated a history of postnatal depression had no further comments documented in their obstetric case notes. One case of bipolar affective disorder and one case of puerperal psychosis were identified on booking questionnaires and neither had any comments documented in the obstetric case notes. In total 16% of women who reported a history of mental health problems were referred to the MHLC.

Clinical implications

More robust procedures for the identification and management of perinatal mental health risk need to be implemented.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Aileen McAuliffe (ailinmcauliffe@gmail.com)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Cox, JL, Holden, JM, Sagovsky, R. Detection of postnatal depression. Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Br J Psychiatry 1987; 150: 782–6.
2 Kendell, RE, Chalmers, JC, Platz, C. Epidemiology of puerperal psychoses. Br J Psychiatry 1987; 150: 662–73.
3 Cox, JL, Murray, D, Chapman, G. A controlled study of the onset, duration and prevalence of postnatal depression. Br J Psychiatry 1993; 163: 2731.
4 Lyons-Ruth, K, Zoll, D, Connell, D, Grunebaum, HU. The depressed mother and her one-year-old infant: environment, interaction, attachment and infant development. In Maternal Depression and Infant Disturbance: New Directions for Child Development (eds Tronick, EZ, Field, T): 34. Jossey-Bass, 1986.
5 Lewis, G, Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health. Why Mothers Die (2000–2002): The Sixth Report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. RCOG Press, 2004.
6 Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health. Saving Mothers' Lives: The Seventh Report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. CEMACH, 2007.
7 Ayuso-Mateos, JL, Vázquez-Barquero, JL, Dowrick, C, Lethinen, V, Dalgard, OS, Casey, P, et al. Depressive disorders in Europe: prevalence figures from the ODIN study. Br J Psychiatry 2001; 179: 308–16.
8 Oates, M. Postnatal affective disorders. Part 1: An introduction. Obstetrician Gynaecologist 2008; 10: 145–50.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychological services for women giving birth in a large Irish tertiary referral maternity unit

  • Aileen McAuliffe (a1), Noirin E. Russell (a1) and Joanne Fenton (a1)
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