Exploring women's experiences of seeking help for mental health difficulties in the perinatal period

DClinPsych Thesis

McGinn, A. 2023. Exploring women's experiences of seeking help for mental health difficulties in the perinatal period. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Institute of applied Psychology
AuthorsMcGinn, A.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Clinical Psychology

Section A

The systematic literature review explored the barriers and facilitators of help seeking amongwomen experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression and anxiety in the UK. Given the relative neglect of anxiety in previous reviews, the inclusion of anxiety was an important addition. Following quality appraisal, a thematic synthesis of 10 included papers identifiedfour themes: stigma, making sense of experiences, relational factors and structural barriers. Clinical implications focused on the domain of staff training, with a potential role for clinical psychology in providing reflective spaces to staff working with new mothers. Future research implications were also discussed.

Sections B

This study explored “What helps and hinders mothers with OCD in disclosing unwanted infant-related harm thoughts to a Health Care Professional?” Semi-structured interviews were
conducted with 10 participants and data analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. A thematic map was created with six themes. Themes suggested a number of factors that have
the potential to act as barriers or facilitators to disclosure, providing new insights for mothers with obsessive compulsive disorder as well as echoing existing literature for post-natal depression. Findings are discussed in relation to relevant theory and research. The limitations,implications for clinical practice and future research were discussed.

KeywordsWomen's experiences of seeking help; Mental health ; Perinatal period
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Deposited18 Sep 2023
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