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Title: Midwives' ability to estimate women's vulnerability to postnatal depressive symptoms in the first three postnatal months
Author: Scullion, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3391 6881
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2007
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Background: There is a need to improve identification of mothers at risk of postnatal depression. This study aimed to assess if postnatal ward midwives could identify vulnerable mothers on wards; also to determine if midwives' estimates of risk could add to the predictive value of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale (EPDS; Cox, Holden & Sagovsky, 1987). Method: Using a prospective longitudinal survey design, 121 mothers on postnatal wards in a maternity hospital were recruited within 72 hours of delivery when they completed self-report measures of depressive symptoms (EPDS), infant temperament (lCQ) and parenting confidence (PSOC). Midwives completed a Likert-style questionnaire giving their concurrent views on these variables and estimating mothers' risk ofdepressive symptoms at 10-12 weeks. At follow up by post at 10-12 postnatal weeks, 92 women completed repeat measures. Results: There was a significant relationship between midwives' estimates of risk and mothers' EPDS Time 2 scores. Midwives correctly identified 36.4% of vulnerable women and 97.1% of those who did not develop symptoms of depression. Midwives' estimates of risk added significantly to the variance explained by EPDS Time 1 scores on EPDS Time 2 scores. Conclusion: While midwives' ability to recognise women who are vulnerable to symptoms of postnatal depression is limited, they are rarely mistaken, suggesting they could usefully alert primary care services to give priority to these women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available