An Australian perspective on treating perinatal depression and anxiety: a brief review of efficacy and evidence-based practice in screening, psychosocial assessment and management

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Abstract

Australia is at the forefront of developing screening practices, interventions and national public health policy for perinatal women with depression and anxiety. For the last two decades Australian mental health experts and public health administrators have conducted population-wide feasibility studies on screening and incorporated these in national guidelines. This chapter outlines the wider evidence base supporting current Australian practice. Key recommendations include use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale or the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 early in pregnancy and at 6-12 weeks postpartum, followed by psychosocial assessment. Positive depression screens need to be followed by diagnostic assessment, and clear treatment pathways must be available. Milgrom and colleagues’ cognitive behavioural treatment is the only Australian program with a solid evidence base demonstrating its effectiveness for depression and associated anxiety. The face-to-face treatment has been further developed into an online program, MumMoodBooster, funded by the Federal government and available to Australian women.

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Authors

Yafit Hirshler

Alan W. Gemmill

Jeannette Milgrom

How to Cite
Hirshler, Y. ., Gemmill , . A. W., & Milgrom, . J. (2021). An Australian perspective on treating perinatal depression and anxiety: a brief review of efficacy and evidence-based practice in screening, psychosocial assessment and management. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 57(1), 40-50. Retrieved from https://annali.iss.it/index.php/anna/article/view/1330
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