Rapid Applied Research Translation (RART 2.2) Program

One in seven women experience postnatal depression, yet only 10 percent receive adequate treatment. Postnatal depression screening is a first step, currently conducted by time-poor Maternal Child Health Nurses (MCHNs). This study is using a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS), designed by PIRI, to help nurses make the next steps following screening, and connect women with the appropriate support.

In this cluster randomised controlled trial, half of the women will be cared for by MCHNs using the electronic platform, and half following current perinatal mental health care practices using paper-and-pencil procedures. All the women in the study will answer some questions with their MCHN at the 4-week postnatal visit, and then be followed up with a PIRI psychologist when their baby is 3 months old to answer some questions over the phone, and fill in a questionnaire.

The study will look at outcomes for women, and evaluate if the electronic platform is assisting referrals to services when required. This e-platform has the capacity to deliver real, cost-effective, sustainable improvements to the healthcare system and integrate into appropriate services and supports.

This project was supported by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the Rapid Applied Research Translation program. www.machaustralia.org