TopicsMental HealthResearch digest: specialist perinatal services

Research digest: specialist perinatal services

Specialist perinatal mental health services, including early identification, adapted guided self-help and other specialist interventions and services, may be more effective than general psychiatric services, as well as being preferred by women.

The researchers found that two questions about low mood, or a 10-item self-complete questionnaire, were useful in identifying pregnant women likely to have depression or other mental illnesses.

The study suggests that early identification and effective treatment of mothers with mental illness could improve the health of both these women and their babies.

Senior author Andrew Pickles, professor of biostatistics and psychological methods at King’s College London, said: ‘We lack much systematic large-scale research on the mental health of perinatal women. These studies, undertaken in busy services serving women with often complex and difficult backgrounds, help provide clear guidance on the screening for and treatment of depression.’

Programme Grants for Applied Research

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