Sixteen per cent of mothers who present their young infants to the emergency department with non-time-critical conditions screen positive for postnatal depression
- Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
- Correspondence to: Catherine McMahon
Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Balaclava Road, North Ryde 2109, New South Wales, Australia;
Commentary on: Stock A, Chin L, Babl FE, et al. Postnatal depression in mothers bringing infants to the emergency department. Arch Dis Child 2013;98:36–40.
Implications for practice and research
Maternal mental health should be routinely assessed in paediatric settings where the presenting problem is the infant.
The emergency department (ED) setting is an opportune place for the identification of postnatal depression (PND) and referral for support.
Study findings should be replicated in other ED settings, with more socioeconomically diverse samples and confirmed through the use of diagnostic interviews.
PND is a common mental health problem with community prevalence estimates internationally ranging between 8% and 20%.1 A large body of research demonstrates ongoing adverse impacts on the mother, her family and the developing infant. In recent years, the …