Evaluation of an Inpatient Psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit Using a Patient Reported Experience and Outcome Measure

Carly Hudson, Grace Branjerdporn, Roy Sheshinski, Susan Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Background: Psychiatric mother-baby units (MBUs) are recommended for mothers with mental illness requiring specialised inpatient assessment and treatment, and enable co-admission for both mother and baby. Understanding the patient experience of admission to an MBU informs service improvement and ensures care is tailored to the patient's needs. Through a mixed-methods approach, this study aims to examine the patient's experience and satisfaction with specific aspects of MBU care, the demographic variables correlated, and patient-reported change in mental health status.

Methods: At discharge, 70 mothers completed the Patient Outcome and Experience Measure (POEM) specific to inpatient MBU admissions. Patients also rated the usefulness of therapeutic groups and provided written qualitative feedback about areas of improvement and strengths. Descriptive statistics, paired samples t-tests and correlations were computed for quantitative data, and thematic content analysis was employed for qualitative feedback.

Results: Mothers were generally highly satisfied with the MBU admission experience. Mothers reported improvement in mental health from admission to discharge. Women who were voluntarily admitted were more satisfied with their experience. Women appreciated the experience with staff, practical skills, advice and education received, support from other mothers, and therapeutic groups offered. Women suggested improvements such as having greater food choices, more mother-baby beds, more group sessions, environmental modifications, further family visitations, and clearer communication surrounding discharge.

Conclusions: Using mixed methodologies, this study highlights the benefits of MBUs and the specific aspects of care that are favourable in treating women with mental illness in an MBU. Findings inform service development and strengthen patient-centred care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventPerinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Congress: Better Together - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 16 May 202218 May 2022
Conference number: 2022


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