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

A qualitative comparison of experiences of specialist mother and baby units versus general psychiatric wards

Griffiths, J; Lever Taylor, B; Morant, N; Bick, D; Howard, LM; Seneviratne, G; Johnson, S; (2019) A qualitative comparison of experiences of specialist mother and baby units versus general psychiatric wards. BMC Psychiatry , 19 , Article 401. 10.1186/s12888-019-2389-8. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
s12888-019-2389-8.pdf - Published version

Download (640kB) | Preview

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mother and baby units (MBUs) are an inpatient mental health service where women experiencing acute severe postpartum psychiatric difficulties can be admitted with their babies. They are currently viewed as best practice in the UK and elsewhere. However, as service provision is fragmented, some women residing in areas without MBUs are admitted to acute general psychiatric wards without their infants. This study aimed to compare qualitatively experiences of these two service types from the perspectives of women and clinicians. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fifteen women who received treatment for perinatal mental health problems on a general psychiatric ward and/or MBU in England. Two focus groups were also conducted, one with MBU staff (n = 11) and one with acute ward staff (n = 6). Data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Women generally preferred being co-admitted with their baby to an MBU over lone admission to a general psychiatric ward. Women and clinicians felt that MBUs provided more perinatally-focused, family-centred care, and were better-equipped to meet women's needs. General wards were reported by women and staff to lack the necessary facilities and expertise to support perinatal women adequately, while separation of mothers and babies was often experienced by women as traumatic and detrimental to recovery. However, some areas for improvement were also identified across both service types, particularly relating to difficulties transitioning home post-discharge, inadequate support for family members, staffing issues and access problems (with MBUs). CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that specialist perinatal inpatient care is considered preferable to generic care in the perinatal period from both service user and staff perspectives. Increased collaboration between perinatal and non-perinatal services could help improve perinatal expertise on general psychiatric wards, while further expansion of perinatal services (e.g. to cater for women currently considered too high risk for MBUs and for those discharged from inpatient settings) could tackle other shortfalls in care.

Type: Article
Title: A qualitative comparison of experiences of specialist mother and baby units versus general psychiatric wards
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-019-2389-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-019-2389-8
Language: English
Additional information: 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: Acute psychiatric ward, Mental health, Mother and baby unit, Perinatal, Qualitative, Women
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 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/10088465
Downloads since deposit
7Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item