Views of healthcare staff and mothers about postnatal depression screening: This study compared practitioners' and mothers' opinions on the use of a screening tool in health care

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Abstract

Mason, L., Poole, H. (2008) Views of healthcare staff and mothers on postnatal depression screening. Nursing Times; 104: 50/51, 44-47.

Background:

More research is needed on views of using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to screen recent mothers for this condition.

Aim:

To examine healthcare professionals' and mothers' views of using this tool.

Method:

Findings of two qualitative studies on screening for postnatal depression were compared to provide an overview.

Results:

There were differences in views within and between groups, although all practitioners found the tool helpful for introducing the topic. Symptom disclosure was an issue for all, although practitioners were unaware that some mothers feared their child would be taken into care.

Conclusion:

Pragmatic reasons (such as lack of time and resources) meant practice was not always optimal but, if recommendations are followed, mothers may be encouraged to disclose symptoms.

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