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Issue: Issue 3 (2016)


Perinatal depression screening, prevention and early intervention: recent advances in Portugal

Ana Telma Pereira, Mariana Marques, Cristiana Marques, Elisabete Bento, Julieta Azevedo, Sandra Xavier, Maria João Soares, and António Macedo
Perinatal depression (PD) is a significant public health concern, needing a more efficient detection, prevention and treatment. Experts in the area recently recommended universal psychosocial assessment programs that combine the evaluation of PD symptoms and psychosocial risk factors. Within a new research project, our team has been exploring this avenue to try to reduce the high negative impact of PD. Our aims are: (1) to analyze the predictive ability of a new instrument (Perinatal Depression Screening and Prevention Tool/PDSPTool) to assess both PD symptoms and risk factors previously validated/identified by our team; (2) to test the efficacy of prevention and/or early intervention program —Mother in Me (MIM), focused on psychoeducational and psychotherapy sessions focusing on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and on exercises from the third generation CBT. The new instrument (PDSPT), includes the short version of the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (adapted and validated for pregnancy) and other valid self-report questionnaires to assess the PD risk factors in Portuguese women: lifetime history of depression, prenatal insomnia and prenatal negative affect. The PDSPTool and the Diagnostic interview for Psychological Distress have been administered to pregnant women (third trimester), recruited in the primary health care centers and maternity hospitals, where the vast majority of Portuguese women have their pregnancy and puerperium followed. The effectiveness of the program will be tested at 5 weeks, 3 and 6 months postpartum, based on the PDSS cutoff points and on the administration of the interview.

Keywords: Perinatal depression, Risk Factors, Screening, Prevention, Intervention.

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2016; 3:2
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21035/ijcnmh.2016.3.2
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