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Experiences of Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Services for Perinatal Mental Health Difficulties: a Qualitative Study of Women's and Therapists' Views

Millett, L; Taylor, BL; Howard, LM; Bick, D; Stanley, N; Johnson, S; (2017) Experiences of Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Services for Perinatal Mental Health Difficulties: a Qualitative Study of Women's and Therapists' Views. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 10.1017/S1352465817000650. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Perinatal mental health difficulties are highly prevalent. In England, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) programme provides evidence-based psychological treatment, predominantly in the form of brief manualized cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to people with mild to moderate depression or anxiety. Yet little is known about the experiences of women referred to IAPT with perinatal mental health difficulties. AIMS: The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate how women view IAPT support for perinatal mental health. We also gained the perspective of IAPT therapists. METHOD: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve women who had been referred to and/or received therapy from IAPT during the perinatal period. Additionally, fourteen IAPT therapists participated in two focus groups. Thematic analysis was used. RESULTS: Key themes centred on barriers to access and the need to tailor support to (expectant) mothers. Women and therapists suggested that experiences could be improved by supporting healthcare professionals to provide women with more help with referrals, better tailoring support to the perinatal context, improving perinatal-specific training, supervision and resources, and offering a more individualized treatment environment. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, women reported positive experiences of support offered by IAPT for perinatal mental health difficulties. However, services should seek to facilitate access to support and to enable therapists to better tailor treatment.

Type: Article
Title: Experiences of Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Services for Perinatal Mental Health Difficulties: a Qualitative Study of Women's and Therapists' Views
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S1352465817000650
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1352465817000650
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: CBT, IAPT, perinatal mental health, qualitative methods
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10028704
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