Evaluation of the Maternal Mental Health Program
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According to the World Health Organization, mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, are increasing worldwide; this places a huge burden on individuals, families, and society. Maternal depression has drawn a lot of attention during the last two decades because maternal depression affects not only the women, but also their unborn children and/or newborns. However, the majority of women who suffer from maternal depression do not seek help. When the women seek help, they are often under-diagnosed or under-treated by their family physicians. The shared care model has been implemented in a variety of health care settings including mental health. Shared care enhances collaboration between family physicians and specialists in delivering patient care. The Maternal Mental Health Program (MMHP) is a shared care program, and was developed to improve the mental health of pregnant and postpartum women in the Saskatoon Health Region. In comparison to other shared care programs reported in the literature, the MMHP is focused exclusively on maternal mental health. To evaluate the MMHP, a quantitative evaluation was conducted to examine the implementation and maintenance of the program. Based on the findings, there was a significant reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms among women who completed the program. This study revealed that social determinants of health are associated with the level of symptoms. Overall, the program met women’s and physician’s expectations, with 75 women (75.8%) and 75 physicians (76.5%) being satisfied or very satisfied with the program. This evaluation study suggests that implementation and maintenance of a shared care maternal mental health program are possible and effective in a local setting, and, in order to improve maternal mental health, social determinants of health have to be addressed.
DegreeMaster of Public Health (M.P.H.)
DepartmentSchool of Public Health
SupervisorBowen, Angela; Moraros, John
Copyright DateDecember 2012