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Title: Understanding and treating postnatal depression
Author: Dunford, Emma Louise
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Postnatal depression is a major public health problem that affects approximately 10•15% of new mothers and adversely impacts on infant development and the mother-infant relationship. The first paper provides a systematic review of mother-infant interventions for postnatal depression. Overall, mother-infant interventions led to significant improvements in a wide range of mother-infant relationship, maternal and infant outcomes. The format of interventions and outcome measures used within the studies were diverse. The methodological quality of the studies varied. Further studies are needed to replicate the findings and to determine predictors of good treatment outcomes. Research evaluating the longer term benefits of mother-infant interventions tor postnatal depression is necessary. The second paper presents an empirical investigation of maternal shame and guilt and their association with postnatal depressive symptoms and attitudes towards help-seeking. An online series of questionnaires were completed by a community sample of British women who had an infant between four weeks and one year of age. Shame proneness and event-related shame and guilt predicted postnatal depressive symptoms. Furthermore, shame and guilt were found to predict negative attitudes towards help-seeking. These findings highlight the potential negative consequences of feelings of shame and guilt in the context of motherhood. The clinical implications of these finding: are discussed, alongside directions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available