UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Barriers to identifying eating disorders in pregnancy and in the postnatal period: a qualitative approach

Bye, AM; Shawe, J; Bick, D; Easter, A; Kash-Macdonald, V; Micali, N; (2018) Barriers to identifying eating disorders in pregnancy and in the postnatal period: a qualitative approach. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , 18 , Article 114. 10.1186/s12884-018-1745-x. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Bye_s12884-018-1745-x.pdf - Published version

Download (662kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background: Eating Disorders (ED) are mental health disorders that typically effect women of childbearing age and are associated with adverse maternal and infant outcomes. UK healthcare guidance recommends routine enquiry for current and past mental illness in antenatal and postnatal care for all women, and that pregnant women with a known ED are offered enhanced monitoring and support. Midwives and health visitors are ideally placed to identify and support women with ED as they are often the primary point of contact during the antenatal and postnatal periods. However, research on the barriers to identifying ED in the perinatal period is limited. This study aimed to understand the barriers to disclosure and identification of ED in pregnancy and postnatally as perceived by women with past or current ED, and midwives and health visitors working in the UK National Health Service. Methods: Two studies were undertaken: mixed-measures survey of pregnant and postnatal women with current or past ED; focus groups with student and qualified midwives and health visitors. Results: Five themes emerged on the barriers to disclosure in pregnancy as perceived by women: stigma, lack of opportunity, preference for self-management, current ED symptomatology and illness awareness. Four themes were identified on the barriers to identification of ED in pregnancy and in the postnatal period as perceived by health professionals: system constraints, recognition of role, personal attitudes, and stigma and taboo. Conclusions: Several barriers to the identification of ED during and after pregnancy were described, the main factors were stigma and poor professional training. Perinatal mental health is becoming increasingly prioritised within national policy initiatives; however, ED continue to be neglected and increased awareness is needed. Similarly, clinical guidance aimed at responding to the rising prevalence of obesity focus on changing nutrition but not on assessing for the presence of ED behaviours that might be affecting nutrition. Improving education and training for health professionals may contribute to reducing stigma and increase confidence in identifying ED. The barriers identified in this research need to be addressed if recognition and response to women with ED during the perinatal period is to improve.

Type: Article
Title: Barriers to identifying eating disorders in pregnancy and in the postnatal period: a qualitative approach
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-018-1745-x
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-1745-x
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Eating Disorders,Pregnancy, Barriers, Disclosure, Identification, Qualitative research
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048624
Downloads since deposit
51Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item