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Title: Perinatal mental health screening trial
Authors: Xuereb, Sarah
Felice, Ethel
Keywords: Pregnant women -- Mental health
Maternal health services -- Malta
Postnatal care -- Psychological aspects
Mental health services -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020-08
Publisher: University of Malta. Medical School
Citation: Xuereb, S., & Felice, E. (2020). Perinatal mental health screening trial. Malta Medical School Gazette, 4(1), 50-55.
Abstract: Background: Pregnancy is a time of great joy and happiness but is also a time of great change, where the woman is at increased risk of onset and relapse of mental health disorders. However, unfortunately many patients go undiagnosed. --- Method: A trial for perinatal mental health screening was set up at Mater Dei Hospital. Mothers under the care of four consultant obstetricians were included in the study. All were asked a series of screening questions to assess necessity of referral to mental health services. If positive for one of the questions, a telephone consultation was carried out by one of the perinatal mental health midwives, giving them the necessary information about the mental health services available. The services offer a multidisciplinary approach with perinatal midwives, a specialised psychiatric team, social worker and psychologists. --- Results: A total of 283 mothers were screened. 105 of which were positive for a screening question, requiring mental health services. 8 accepted an office session with the perinatal midwives, and 12 were followed-up up by psychiatric team in the perinatal mental health clinic. --- Conclusion: Previous data at Mater Dei Hospital stated that 3% of all mothers delivering in labour ward were being referred to the perinatal mental health clinic. During this trial 6% of the mothers screened were making use of the service. This points towards ⁓3% of mothers who would otherwise have been suffering in the dark, proving the necessity of a screening program.
Appears in Collections:MMSG, Volume 4, Issue 1
MMSG, Volume 4, Issue 1

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