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UBC Graduate Research

Antenatal and postpartum anxiety : Increasing awareness for nurse practitioners in primary care Austrom, Danae


Anxiety during the antenatal and postpartum (PP) period is prevalent and can results in adverse ramifications for both mother and child. Research addressing antenatal and PP anxiety lacks in comparison to postpartum depression (PPD), subsequently leading to insufficient screening, misdiagnosis, and poor management of anxiety in maternal women. The literature and guidelines pertaining to how to best care for anxiety in this specialized population is inconsistent. However, the literature consistently identifies that if anxiety is detected early, associated complications and mortality can be reduced. The aim of this literature review is to enhance primary care practitioners (PCP) clinical understanding of perinatal anxiety by outlining the associated risk factors, prevalence, and subsequent consequences. Furthermore, recommendations for screening, diagnosis, treatment, and management are highlighted to improve clinical management of anxiety in perinatal women. This information will be translated into a clinical poster that will be presented at the University of British Columbia’s graduate symposium. The principle objective of this poster will be to improve PCPs knowledge and awareness of prenatal and PP anxiety and help mitigate barriers hindering PCPs from initiating early screening and appropriate tailored treatments in the primary care setting.

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