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



Begun in 2021, the PIRIMID Trial is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) partnership project funding in 2019. PIRI is proud to be partnering with University of Melbourne, Beyond Blue, PANDA, City of Whittlesea to undertake this large cluster randomised controlled (c-RCT) trial.

The aims of this trial is to evaluate the impact of an integrated electronic screening and clinical decision support system (CDSS) designed to aid clinicians in best practice management following screening of women for perinatal depression.

An assessment of emotional wellbeing including screening for perinatal depression occurs routinely during Maternal and Child Health postnatal visits. In this study Maternal and Child Health Nurses will conduct screening using an electronic tablet. We will compare two alternate methods for nurses to use to manage this routine assessment at 8-weeks postpartum

Women in the study will complete online questionnaires following their 8-week postnatal appointment, when their baby is 4 and 6 months old.