Australian Midwives’ Knowledge of Antenatal and Postpartum Depression: A National Survey

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Title Australian Midwives’ Knowledge of Antenatal and Postpartum Depression: A National Survey
Author Jones, Cindy Jingwen; Creedy, Debra; Gamble, Jennifer Ann
Journal Name Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Abstract Introduction: Emotional care provided by midwives may improve health and well-being; reduce stress, trauma, and depressive symptoms; and enhance maternal outcomes in childbearing women. The provision of intrapartum and postpartum emotional care can be challenging and requires a good knowledge base for the provider to screen and assist distressed women. This study assessed Australian midwives’ levels of knowledge and learning needs regarding antenatal depression and postpartum depression. Methods: Eight hundred and fifteen members of the Australian College of Midwives completed a postal survey, which consisted of 20 items drawn from the literature and the National Baseline Survey—Health Professional Knowledge Questionnaire. Results: On average, respondents correctly answered 62.9% of items related to antenatal depression and 70.7% of questions about postpartum depression. Many midwives were unable to identify the risk factors (70.6%) or prevalence of antenatal depression (49.6%). Nearly all (98.3%) respondents underestimated the percentage of antenatally depressed women that attempts suicide. Significant percentages of midwives did not correctly identify the incidence (44.4%), onset period (71%), and treatment options (32%) associated with postpartum depression. About half did not understand the use of antidepressant medications (48.6%) and incorrectly reported that the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was a suitable instrument to assess symptoms of psychotic depression (43.8%). Discussion: There are key knowledge deficits relating to onset of, assessment of, and treatment for depressive symptoms during the antenatal and postpartum periods. There is a need for continuing professional education to improve midwives’ knowledge and competency in the assessment and care of women suffering depression.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 56
Issue Number 4
Page from 353
Page to 361
ISSN 1542-2011
Date Accessioned 2012-02-27; 2012-03-20T22:35:13Z
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Menzies Health Institute Qld
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Midwifery
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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