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Screening, prevention and early intervention in perinatal depression - a new program effectiveness in primary healthcare.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra
Project classification

Scientific area

5.1 Psychology

Discipline(s)

Psychology, special (including therapy for learning, speech, hearing, visual and other physical and mental disabilities)

Project description

Project title

Screening, prevention and early intervention in perinatal depression - a new program effectiveness in primary healthcare.

Scientific Coordinator's name:

Ana Telma Pereira

Scientific Coordinator's e-mail:

apereira@fmed.uc.pt

Principal R&D Unit:

Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra

Other R&D Units involved in the project:

NORWEGIAN INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Project keyword(s)

perinatal depression; screening; prevention; early intervention.

Short abstract and comments

Perinatal depression (PD) is a public health concern, needing a more rapid detection, prevention and treatment (Austin et al. 2014). Without screening programs, less than 10% of women are treated. Authorities in the area recently recommended universal psychosocial assessment programs that combine the evaluation of psychosocial risk factors and the detection of depression (Austin et al., 2014). The capacity of the available tools to predict postnatal depression is limited. Our main goals: to analyze the predictive ability of a new instrument (Perinatal Depression Screening and Prevention Tool/PDSPT) assessing both PD symptoms and risk factors previously validated/identified by our team; to test the efficacy of early intervention and prevention programs for antenatal depression (randomized controlled studies). The instrument and a diagnostic interview will be administered to ? 500 pregnant women (third trimester), recruited in all the Coimbra´s Council primary care healthcare centers and maternity hospitals, where the vast majority of Portuguese women have their pregnancy and puerperium followed. The effectiveness of the program will be tested at 5 weeks, 3 and 6 months postpartum. We anticipate that the PDSPT will reveal good predictive power and that the early intervention and prevention programs will produce lower proportions of depression in the experimental vs. control groups. Once achieved these positive outcomes, we will provide training and support to the primary healthcare providers focusing on the PD screening, prevention, early intervention and treatment strategies. All the perinatal women will potentially benefit, as all will be given the opportunity of being evaluated for the presence of perinatal depression symptoms and risk factors. Portuguese women and families will continue benefiting in the future, as the healthcare professionals will be trained. All the women who maintain or have a new onset of a depression diagnosis in the perinatal period and/or a high score at PDSS (above the cut-off score) will be referred to a Psychiatric consultation for further evaluation and specialized treatment at Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (our partner), where some project team members will provide specialized treatment.

Potential uses/indications

We anticipate that the new developed Perinatal Depression Screening and Prevention Tool will reveal good predictive power, favorable acceptability and result in higher perinatal depression detection and treatment rates than the routine practice. We also expect that the early intervention/prevention program will produce lower proportions of depression in the experimental vs. control groups. Furthermore these expected results will persuade health politics health assistance systems to establish and enable universal psychosocial assessment programs that combine the evaluation of psychosocial risk factors and the detection of possible current depression and to facilitate access to a range of low cost, primary care psychosocial interventions that can assist women with mild to moderate range problems (the majority of cases). As it has happened with other projects developed by our team, we expect that the media will be interested in addressing our results and their implications. In relation to the indicators it is our expectation to present at least four communications in national and international scientific meetings and to publish at least three papers at international journals.

Status

Ongoing

Partner Status: Seeking Partners?

No

Grant number (QREN, FP7, Eureka, etc)

EEA GRANTS 161SM3

Last edited on

2015-09-02 10:17:04

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