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Incorporating mental healthcare into routine postpartum nursing is a promising approach for reducing depression in new mothers
  1. Lisa S Segre
  1. Parent Child Family Area, College of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Lisa S Segre
    Parent Child Family Area, Nursing Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242, USA; lisa-segre{at}uiowa.edu

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Implications for practice and research

  • Public health nurses (PHNs) can play a significant role in identifying and treating postpartum depression.

  • The results obtained in this demonstration project suggest the need for a larger, randomised controlled trial.

Context

This study focuses on postpartum depression, a problem that has lasting negative effects on children of affected mothers.1 The authors note that in Norway, postpartum mental health is inadequately addressed, thus postpartum depression is underidentified as well as undertreated. To improve the postpartum care provided by PHNs, the authors describe a programme in which standard care is reshaped to include a mental health perspective.

Methods

This study compares the frequency and severity of depressive symptoms and parenting stress among postpartum women in two convenience samples: (1) a municipality implementing standard PHN postpartum care (about 650 annual births) and (2) a municipality implementing an enhanced postpartum care model that emphasised mental health (about 1500 annual births).

Standard PHN care in Norway includes one home visit and …

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