Australian midwives' awareness and management of antenatal and postpartum depression

Cindy J. Jones, Debra K. Creedy, Jenny A. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: The detection of maternal depression can be improved with routine screening. This practice is expected to be integrated into midwifery practice under the Australia National Perinatal Depression Initiative. Research objective: To describe midwives' self-reported practice in caring for women suffering from antenatal and postpartum depressive symptoms; and assess midwives' ability to detect depression and their knowledge of therapeutic interventions for depressive symptoms in childbearing women. Method: Using a descriptive cohort study design, a postal survey was sent to all members of the Australian College of Midwives (n=3000). The survey consisted of items drawn from beyondblue's " National Baseline Survey - Screening Evaluation Questionnaire" and questions relating to a hypothetical case study of a depressed woman " Mary" developed by Buist et al. 25. Findings: A total of 815 completed surveys were received. 69.1% of midwives reported screening for antenatal and postpartum depression using instruments such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Time constraints were perceived as the major barrier to effective emotional care. 63.3% of midwives correctly recognised depression in the case study and 82.4% reported that " Mary" required assistance. Antidepressants were more likely to be recommended postnatally (93.2%) than antenatally (61.5%) by midwives. Conclusions: Further training is required to ensure midwives' competency in psychosocial assessment and management of women experiencing antenatal and postpartum depression. Systemic issues (e.g. time constraints) encountered by midwives need to be addressed to support the delivery of effective emotional care to childbearing women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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Postpartum Depression
Midwifery
Depression
Aptitude
Prenatal Diagnosis
Postpartum Period
Antidepressive Agents
Cohort Studies
Mothers
Surveys and Questionnaires

Cite this

Jones, Cindy J. ; Creedy, Debra K. ; Gamble, Jenny A. / Australian midwives' awareness and management of antenatal and postpartum depression. In: Women and Birth. 2012 ; Vol. 25, No. 1. pp. 23-28.
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Australian midwives' awareness and management of antenatal and postpartum depression. / Jones, Cindy J.; Creedy, Debra K.; Gamble, Jenny A.

In: Women and Birth, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.03.2012, p. 23-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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