Implementing innovative evidence-based perinatal mental health screening for refugee women

Sue Willey, Melanie Gibson-Helm, Tracy L. Finch, Christine East, Nadia N Khan, Leanne Boyd, Jacqueline Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: Nationally recommended routine mental health screening in pregnancy is often poorly implemented. Women of refugee background have a higher risk of perinatal mental health illness due to the refugee experience and resettlement stressors. A perinatal mental health screening program at a dedicated refugee antenatal clinic was established in 2016. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and a psychosocial assessment were administered incommonrefugee languages using a digital platform. Score-based, language appropriate information for women and management guides for midwives were generated immediately. Co-designed, refugee-appropriate referral pathways were provided. Aim: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of a perinatal mental health screening program for women of refugee background from the perspective of midwives, managers and other maternity healthcare providers. Method: Using the adapted Normalization Process Theory (NPT) toolkit, midwives, midwifery managers and other health professionals (n = 24) completed an online survey, followed by focus groups (n = 2) and semi-structured interviews (n = 8). Data will be analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis prior to data triangulation. Key findings: Feasibility and acceptability will be assessed against the four constructs of the NPT: coherence, cognitive participation, collective action and reflexive monitoring. Recommendations for program refinement and scale-up will be made based on these results. Data collection is complete, data analysis is underway and key findings will be available by October 2018. Implications for practice: Implementing perinatal mental health screening within routine pregnancy care enables early detection and timely referral to appropriate services and support. The evaluation underway will identify service components required for a sustainable and effective program applicable across maternity services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S8-S8
Number of pages1
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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