Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://ahro.austin.org.au/austinjspui/handle/1/20994
Title: Perinatal anxiety and depression: Awareness and attitudes in Australia.
Authors: Smith, Terri;Gemmill, Alan W;Milgrom, Jeannette
Affiliation: Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA), Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI), Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Issue Date: 31-May-2019
EDate: 2019-05-31
Citation: The International journal of social psychiatry 2019; online first: 31 May
Abstract: Better community mental health literacy is associated with positive help-seeking behaviours and reduced stigma. There are relatively few published surveys of perinatal mental health literacy. To provide a profile of current awareness, knowledge and attitudes in relation to the mental health of women and men in the perinatal period. A cross-sectional online survey ( n = 1,201) of adults (⩾ 18 years) in each state and territory of Australia was conducted in early 2016. Survey questions were based on a previous 2009 survey, with the addition of several novel items designed to assess knowledge around both perinatal anxiety and men's perinatal mental health. Depression (including postnatal depression) was the most frequently cited general health problem for women in the first postnatal year (52% of spontaneous first responses). Over 70% of adults believed that postnatal depression requires specialised treatment and checks for depressive symptoms should occur routinely in pregnancy and the first postnatal year. Women identified postnatal depression at a higher rate than men. Most commonly, postnatal depression was perceived as having a biological rather than psychosocial etiology (34.5%). Men and women differed in their knowledge about the symptoms of postnatal depression with more women correctly identifying core depressive symptoms. The specific term 'perinatal depression' was not well recognised. Although not well recognised as a general health issue, when prompted, 39% of respondents were aware of anxiety as a specific perinatal mental health issue. Most adult Australians (60%) were unaware that perinatal depression and anxiety could be experienced by men. Awareness of postnatal depression appeared high. However, areas including anxiety, antenatal mental health, and men's mental health were less well-understood. There remains considerable scope, and a need for, continued awareness-raising around anxiety, mental health in pregnancy and men's mental health.
URI: http://ahro.austin.org.au/austinjspui/handle/1/20994
DOI: 10.1177/0020764019852656
ORCID: 0000-0002-7753-4110
0000-0002-4082-4595
PubMed URL: 31148499
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Perinatal anxiety
mental health literacy
men’s mental health
perinatal depression
postnatal depression
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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