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Psychiatric mother and baby units (MBUs) are recommended for severe perinatal mental illness, but effectiveness compared with other forms of acute care remains unknown.
We hypothesised that women admitted to MBUs would be less likely to be readmitted to acute care in the 12 months following discharge, compared with women admitted to non-MBU acute care (generic psychiatric wards or crisis resolution teams (CRTs)).
Quasi-experimental cohort study of women accessing acute psychiatric care up to 1 year postpartum in 42 healthcare organisations across England and Wales. Primary outcome was readmission within 12 months post-discharge. Propensity scores were used to account for systematic differences between MBU and non-MBU participants. Secondary outcomes included assessment of cost-effectiveness, experience of services, unmet needs, perceived bonding, observed mother–infant interaction quality and safeguarding outcome.
Of 279 women, 108 (39%) received MBU care, 62 (22%) generic ward care and 109 (39%) CRT care only. The MBU group (n = 105) had similar readmission rates to the non-MBU group (n = 158) (aOR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.86–1.04, P = 0.29; an absolute difference of −5%, 95% CI −14 to 4%). Service satisfaction was significantly higher among women accessing MBUs compared with non-MBUs; no significant differences were observed for any other secondary outcomes.
We found no significant differences in rates of readmission, but MBU advantage might have been masked by residual confounders; readmission will also depend on quality of care after discharge and type of illness. Future studies should attempt to identify the effective ingredients of specialist perinatal in-patient and community care to improve outcomes.
Postpartum psychosis has recently been the focus of an in-depth storyline on a British television soap opera watched by millions of viewers.
This research explored how the storyline and concomitant increase in public awareness of postpartum psychosis have been received by women who have recovered from the condition.
Nine semistructured, one-to-one interviews were conducted with women who had experienced postpartum psychosis. Thematic analysis consistent with Braun and Clarke's six-step approach was used to generate themes from the data.
Public exposure provided by the postpartum psychosis portrayal was deemed highly valuable, and its mixed reception encompassed potentially therapeutic benefits in addition to harms.
Public awareness of postpartum psychosis strongly affects women who have experienced postpartum psychosis. This research highlights the complexity of using television drama for public education and may enable mental health organisations to better focus future practices of raising postpartum psychosis awareness.
Declaration of interest
GB is chair of action on Postpartum Psychosis. JH is director of action on Postpartum Psychosis. IJ is a trustee of action on Postpartum Psychosis and was a consultant to the BBC (television company) on the EastEnders storyline. CD is a trustee of action on Postpartum Psychosis, a trustee of BIPOLAR UK, vice chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, and was a consultant to the BBC (television company) on the EastEnders storyline.
Women with bipolar disorder are at increased risk of having a severe episode of illness associated with childbirth.
To explore the factors that influence the decision-making of women with bipolar disorder regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
Qualitative study with a purposive sample of women with bipolar disorder considering pregnancy, or currently or previously pregnant, supplemented by data from an online forum. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Twenty-one women with bipolar disorder from an NHS organisation were interviewed, and data were used from 50 women's comments via the online forum of the UK's national bipolar charity. The centrality of motherhood, social and economic contextual factors, stigma and fear were major themes. Within these themes, new findings included women considering an elective Caesarian section in an attempt to avoid the deleterious effects of a long labour and loss of sleep, or trying to avoid the risks of pregnancy altogether by means of adoption or surrogacy.
This study highlights the information needs of women with bipolar disorder, both pre-conception and when childbearing, and the need for improved training for all health professionals working with women with bipolar disorder of childbearing age to reduce stigmatising attitudes and increase knowledge of the evidence base on treatment in the perinatal period.
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