Student midwives’ knowledge of perinatal mental health

Jarrett, Patricia (2015) Student midwives’ knowledge of perinatal mental health. British Journal of Midwifery, 23 (1) . pp. 32-39. ISSN 0969-4900 [Article] (doi:10.12968/bjom.2015.23.1.32)


Background: Psychiatric illness is a leading indirect cause of maternal mortality. Earlier studies suggest serious discrepancies in the training and knowledge of midwives with regard to perinatal mental health.

Aims: To explore the knowledge and experience of student midwives in the care of women with perinatal mental health problems.

Methods: A modified questionnaire was distributed to student midwives near completion of 3-year and 78-week midwifery programmes.

Results: Students often under-estimated the risk of women with existing mental health problems developing a serious mental health problem during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Students felt ill-prepared and lacked confidence in caring for women with serious mental health problems.

Conclusion: Recommendations from the findings of this study indicate (1) a review of undergraduate midwifery education in relation to perinatal mental health is needed; (2) a larger study, involving a more diverse sample of students, would enable generalisation to a wider population.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published Online: December 29, 2014
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Adult, Child and Midwifery
Item ID: 15890
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Patricia Jarrett
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 15:39
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 18:26

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