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PREVENTION AND EARLY INTERVENTION IN POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION RISK THE EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT

A. Gigantesco, G. Palumbo, F. Mirabella, I. Cascavilla

Italian National Institute of Health (ITALY)
Post-partum depression (PPD) is a significant public health problem. Birth and neonatal outcomes suffer as a result of maternal depression. As such, effectively treating depression is imperative to the overall health of mother and child. Psychopharmacological interventions are effective in alleviating depresses symptoms. However, the evidence of the safety of their use during nursing is inconclusive. Moreover, women themselves express the desire for non-psychopharmacological options when deciding to manage their depression.
In 2012, the Mental Health Department of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) received a grant from the Ministry of Health to assess, in Italy, the feasibility and efficacy in actual practice of the demonstrably effective intervention based on clinical work and research conducted by Milgrom J. at the Infant Clinic of the Parent-Infant Research Institute, Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre, in Melbourne, Australia (Milgrom J, Negri LM, Gemmill AW, McNeil M, Martin PR., 2005).
The intervention comprised three components: (1) educational—providing information on PPD, strategies for coping with difficult child-care situations and eliciting social support; (2) use of cognitive–behavioural techniques to tackle women’s erroneous cognitions about motherhood and provide strategies for coping with anxiety and depression; and (3) teaching the use of relaxation.
The intervention was designed to be implemented in children and women health services using structured sessions according to a defined educational programme. Details on the sessions and the educational programme will be presented at the congress.