What more do you want to know about pregnant women in order to improve mental health care for this population as a nurse practitioner? Find and read two additional resources, at least one of which is scholarly, about this population and their mental health needs. Answer the following questions based on all three resources.
How is this research relevant to women during pregnancy and the postpartum period?
How will this research influence your practice? What more do you want to know about this topic in order to improve care for such women?
Write a three-page (not including the reference page), double-spaced paper with a minimum of three references (two of which are scholarly), in APA format. Include an introduction and conclusion paragraph
Mental Health Screening among Pregnant Women
It is common for pregnant women to experience mental health issues during their pregnancy and postpartum period. Women may develop depression and some may feel more anxious and vulnerable. Those who have had severe mental illness in the past have a greater likelihood of becoming mentally ill during their pregnancy journey. Adverse mental illness includes psychosis, bipolar affective disorder and severe depression (Kingston et al., 2015). Midwives and health visitors are required to be aware of the mental health/illness history of the pregnant women they care for in order to administer appropriate medication and therapeutic sessions. It is important to understand all symptoms and conditions relating to mental depression among this group to make it easy for practitioners to take up the necessary remedies and precautions. All this can be enhanced through establishing a research. Basically, this paper discusses why a research on the urgency of integrating mental health screening into routine primary care for postpartum and pregnant women is important, and how the research will influence practice.
The research on the relevance of integrating mental health screening into routine primary care is significant to women during pregnancy and postpartum period. According to the WHO World Mental Health (WNH) Surveys encompassing twenty-four countries, roughly half of the persons with major depressive disorder (MMD) were previously diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Pregnant women were the major group at a higher risk of elevated MDD associated with anxiety disorders. It is well recognized that pregnancy and postpartum periods are very sensitive periods as they predispose the women to depression and anxiety. Pregnancy mental disorders are associated with low birth weight and prematurity (Lemon, Vanderkruik, & Dimidjian, 2015). If present in the postpartum period, such disorders can negatively impact on the mental health of the children.
The research is relevant to women during pregnancy and the postpartum period because it provides better avenues of introducing more informed screening programs into routine care for the group and to detect such disorders during early stages before introducing the most appropriate control strategy. The extensive research will create awareness on why primary care providers need to use the screening tool and assess whether a pregnant woman needs to visit a mental health provider or not, to eliminate issues of guesswork during care delivery (Lemon, Vanderkruik, & Dimidjian, 2015). The research is also relevant as it identifies the medical gaps for the group and the urgency of eliminating them. Even though mental disorders are a major public health concern for women and even children, there are limited epidemiological longitudinal studies for assessing the psychological status of women during pregnancy period and later on in life (Kingston et al., 2015). Therefore, the research will be significant in addressing such concerns and their impact on pregnant women.
The research will influence practice in a number of ways. Introducing a mental health screening model will create a more integrated primary care that encourages a strong collaborative relationship between mothers, primary care providers and mental health providers. A significant goal of the mental health screening initiative is that it will readily increase a provider’s comfort and competence in recognizing and managing mental health among pregnant and postpartum women. The approach is equally important for ethnic minority and socio-economically disadvantaged women who are at a greater risk of depression and most profoundly affected by it (Lemon, Vanderkruik, & Dimidjian, 2015). It will also provide a confirmation that mental health screening in primary care takes advantage of all preventive care interventions and continuity to guarantee better and appropriate treatment options and follow-up.
Research on mental health screening further informs practice because after patients -pregnant and postpartum women- are diagnosed with a mental disorder, it becomes easier to recommend a particular medication and get treatment as soon as possible (Lemon, Vanderkruik, & Dimidjian, 2015). Screening generally helps to prevent long-term suffering and associated disabilities. A specific treatment plan that provides documents for the patient will depend on the nature of disorder identified and the level of seriousness, which have all been eased by the mental health screening tool (Kingston et al., 2015). Thus, the research challenges providers on the need to adopt the screening tool during care delivery and an effective treatment plan for pregnant and postpartum women.
In order to improve care for this group of women, I would like to understand the factors that make them susceptible to mental illness risks. Understanding such issues will allow me, as a healthcare provider, to provide more effective strategies for promoting psychosocial wellbeing, prevent and promote any detected mental disorders of the mother during the pregnancy time and after delivery (Van et al., 2017). By conceptualizing the issues behind mental health among the group, I can support and promote the integration of curricula of child and maternal health initiatives and reproductive health programs (Lemon, Vanderkruik, & Dimidjian, 2015). Through this, most institutions will understand the urgency of pregnancy matters and take more precautions when handling the sensitive group.
In conclusion, issues of mental illness among pregnant women are on a high rise. Globally, maternal mental health concerns are a major public health challenge. Research is significant in identifying specific health gaps among the groups and aligning effective control strategies to better manage the conditions. Healthcare providers can use the research information in taking care of pregnant women and protecting them against the likely adverse risks they may encounter along the pregnancy journey.
Kingston, D., Austin, M. P., Heaman, M., McDonald, S., Lasiuk, G., Sword, W., & Kingston, J. (2015). Barriers and facilitators of mental health screening in pregnancy. Journal of Affective Disorders, 186, 350-357.
Lemon, E. L., Vanderkruik, R., & Dimidjian, S. (2015). Treatment of anxiety during pregnancy: room to grow. Archives of women’s mental health, 18(3), 569-570.
Van Ravesteyn, L. M., Lambregtse-van den Berg, M. P., Hoogendijk, W. J., & Kamperman, A. M. (2017). Interventions to treat mental disorders during pregnancy: a systematic review and multiple treatment meta-analysis. PLoS One, 12(3), e0173397.