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Not identifying with postnatal depression: A qualitative study of womens postnatal symptoms of distress and need for support

Coates, R., de Visser, R. and Ayers, S. (2015). Not identifying with postnatal depression: A qualitative study of womens postnatal symptoms of distress and need for support. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 36(3), pp. 114-121. doi: 10.3109/0167482X.2015.1059418

Abstract

Introduction: 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.Methods: 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.Results: 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.Discussion: 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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology on 1st July 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.3109/0167482X.2015.1059418.
Publisher Keywords: Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health Sciences
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/12625
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