Not identifying with postnatal depression: a qualitative study of women’s postnatal symptoms of distress and need for support

Coates, Rose, de Visser, Richard and Ayers, Susan (2015) Not identifying with postnatal depression: a qualitative study of women’s postnatal symptoms of distress and need for support. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0167-482X

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Abstract

Diagnoses and symptoms of postnatal mental health problems are associated with adverse outcomes for women and their families. Current classification and assessment of postnatal mental health problems may not adequately address the range or combination of emotional distress experienced by mothers. This study aims to explore symptoms of mental health problems reported by new mothers and their experiences of being assessed for these.
In-depth interviews with 17 women in southeast England with a baby under 1-year old who experienced a postnatal mental health problem. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.
Women described a lack of identification with the concept of postnatal depression and felt that other forms of emotional distress were not recognized by the healthcare system. Women felt that support seeking for postnatal mental health problems needed to be normalized and that support should be available whether or not women were diagnosed. Assessment needs to be well timed and caringly implemented.
Identification and recognition of symptoms and disorders other than postnatal depression need to be improved. Awareness of multiple types of distress needs to be raised both for women experiencing such distress, and for healthcare professionals, to enable them to support women at this time. Different approaches to assessment that include the range of symptoms reported should be piloted.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2015 14:43
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2017 13:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55351

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