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Title: The experiences of women who have accessed a perinatal and infant mental health service: a qualitative investigation
Authors: Coates, Dominiek ;Campbell, L.;Davis, E.
Affliation: Central Coast Local Health District
Gosford Hospital
The University of Newcastle
Issue Date: 10-Oct-2016
Source: 15(1):88-100
Journal title: Advances in Mental Health
Department: Child & Youth Mental Health
Abstract: Background: Client feedback is an essential part of service evaluation and can aid both the development and delivery of client-centred services. The current study is an investigation into the experiences of women who have accessed a perinatal infant mental health (PIMH) service. The purpose of the service is to support vulnerable women to connect with and care for their infant, however it is not well understood how effectively the service supports the needs of the consumers. Method: One hundred and seventy-six women, discharged from the service within the past 36 months were invited to participate in the study. Forty of the discharged consumers were able to participate in a semi-structured telephone interview. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and interpreted using thematic analysis. Results: One superordinate theme, the service as a ‘Lifesaver’ and four subordinate themes describing the way in which the service met the needs of the participants were identified. More specifically, the themes included supportive counselling, trauma counselling, specialist interventions and assertive outreach. Overall, it was found that trusting therapeutic relationships with a regular clinician facilitated a safe environment conducive to counselling, which allowed for reflections on trauma, mental health and parenting. Implications: Findings from this study highlight the positive impact of PIMH services on consumers with a particular emphasis on the importance of the consumer–clinician relationship. Importantly, it was also found that dealing with past trauma was critically important for the women to enable them to move on with their lives as mothers.
DOI: 10.1080/18387357.2016.1242374
ISSN: 1838-7357
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Mental Health
Newborn and Infant
Appears in Collections:Mental Health

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