Postnatal depression affects between 10 and 15 per cent of mothers within the first year after giving birth. These women find access to support in rural and remote areas can be complex so this research aims to ensure mothers have access to an evidence based, online therapy.
Mothers living in rural and remote locations who suffer postnatal depression face considerable difficulty in accessing support for this debilitating condition, according to researchers from Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) and Charles Sturt University (CSU).
This research is a collaboration between CSU, PIRI in Victoria, Murrumbidgee and Western NSW LHDs and Tresillian. Funding for the project is provided by NSW Health through their translational research grants, which aim to embed research evidence into clinical practice across NSW. The collaborative research team, led by Ms Keryl de Haan from MLHD and Associate Professor Maree Bernoth from CSU Institute for Land, Water and Society, will identify the barriers and enablers for rural and remote women to access an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program developed by the Parent Infant Research Institute (PIRI), based in Victoria, called MumMoodBooster (MMB).
The team will also make recommendations to ensure women with PND, and who are living in rural and remote areas, have access to effective and timely support. By using an evidenced-based online intervention, the research will inform future policies and procedures to support women with PND in isolated areas, who have limited access to services that are more readily available to their city cousins.
The research project involves clinicians who work in rural and remote areas and the outcomes will have implications for their practice and important outcomes for the women they support. The research will develop a model that can be implemented, replicated and sustained within existing services for mothers living in geographically isolated areas.