Type of Resources
Elisha, Leanne. Perinatal Mental Health: Improving the Quality and Consistency of Health Care Delivery in Kootenai County. Unpublished Doctor of Nursing Practice scholarly project, University of Northern Colorado, 2019. Perinatal mental health issues including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, mania, and psychosis occur frequently during pregnancy and after delivery; these issues have potentially devastating impacts on mothers, infants, other family members, and communities. Despite increasing awareness of perinatal mental health issues and formal recommendations to implement universal screening and ensure access to appropriate follow-up, there is wide variation in clinical practice across regions and providers. Inconsistent screening, paired with limited local resources for follow up, might prevent women from receiving appropriate treatment. The objective of this project was to develop a guide for clinician use to improve screening, referral, and follow up of perinatal mental health issues. The guide identifies an appropriate screening instrument, screening intervals, methods, recording practices, and follow-up recommendations. Additionally, an integrated mental health model was proposed for ongoing treatment and coordination of care. The project was developed using the Delphi method and ongoing engagement with seven local stakeholders to create a streamlined, consistent process that would match clinician needs with available resources.