Bridging the gap in mental health services for pregnant women with serious mental illness

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Women pinch superior intelligence unwellness (SMI) who are pregnant aliases readying a gestation look gaps successful information, support and resources successful intelligence wellness services, caller investigation suggests.

The findings, published April 1 successful nan peer-reviewed diary Health Affairs, item nan request to merge gestation and parenting interventions, education, and different resources for women pinch SMI into intelligence wellness services.

Policies that summation intelligence wellness supplier and session capacity to reside gestation and parenting tin dramatically amended attraction for women surviving pinch intelligence illness, which would yet beforehand maternal and kid outcomes, said Dr. Nichole Goodsmith, psychiatrist and wellness services interrogator astatine Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and adjunct objective professor of psychiatry astatine nan David Geffen School of Medicine astatine UCLA.

Our study suggests that nan taxable of gestation whitethorn beryllium under-discussed successful intelligence wellness care, starring to a missed opportunity to understand patients' gestation goals and desires and connection due support and services. The women we said to wanted much accusation connected nan imaginable effect of their psychiatric medications connected fertility, pregnancy, fetal development, and breastfeeding. The mothers we interviewed expressed needing much parenting support and resources-;things for illustration parenting classes, on-site childcare during intelligence wellness visits, and referrals for resources for illustration babe supplies."

Dr. Nichole Goodsmith, study's elder author 

Goodsmith conducted nan investigation while successful nan National Clinician Scholars Program astatine UCLA.

The researchers conducted telephone interviews pinch 22 reproductive-age women being served astatine 4 Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health outpatient clinics successful 2020 and 2021. Most participants were Black aliases Latina and had children.

Among nan findings, fewer women recalled discussions of gestation pinch their intelligence wellness providers, and those who did described them arsenic "quick conversations." In addition, galore were dissatisfied pinch nan accusation they received astir imaginable information concerns of taking their psychiatric medications successful pregnancy.

As for parenting, astir described their intelligence wellness providers arsenic adjuvant and supportive, though immoderate were concerned that moreover talking astir their intelligence wellness symptoms could lead to losing custody of their children.

The study has immoderate limitations, nan researchers write. It was conducted successful a large, municipality safety-net intelligence wellness system, truthful nan findings whitethorn not use to different locations aliases populations, it surveyed only English-speaking women did not see different languages aliases gender identities.

But nan findings shed ray connected nan request to build intelligence wellness providers' capacity to talk and reside their patients' pregnancy- and parenting-related needs.

"Overall, results underscore nan request for greater integration of gestation and parenting interventions, education, support, and resources into intelligence wellness services for women surviving pinch SMI," nan researchers write. "Incorporating acquisition contented related to gestation and parenting into academic, professional, and continuing acquisition curriculums tin thief adjacent this knowledge gap."

Additional authors are Karissa Fenwick, Kristina Cordasco, and Alison Hamilton of Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; Emily Dossett of nan University of Southern California, and Rebecca Gitlin of nan Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

The task was funded by nan National Clinician Scholars Program astatine UCLA, nan Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations done nan Health Services Research Fellowship Program (TPH 65-000-15), nan VA Research Career Scientist (VA Health Services Research and Development Grant No. RCS 21-135), nan VA Office of Academic Affiliations, and a K12 (K12HS26407) profession improvement grant from nan Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and nan Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Source:

Journal reference:

Fenwick, K., et al. (2024) Addressing Pregnancy And Parenting In Mental Health Care: Perspectives Of Women With Serious Mental Illness. Health Affairs. doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2023.01450.