UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creating accessible and acceptable care options for postpartum depression : a qualitative inquiry to assess postpartum mental health needs in British Columbia Lackie, Madison


Despite approximately 10% of new mothers in Canada developing postpartum depression (PPD), they face many barriers when accessing care. eHealth offers a unique opportunity to provide psychosocial skills and support to new mothers; however, treatment development does not consistently engage women directly in this process, thus often ignoring the unique needs that women express and the diversity of women who may use those tools. This study engaged women from a variety of backgrounds and locations around British Columbia who had previously experienced PPD, for the purposes of determining the unmet psychoeducational needs of women with PPD and how a web-enabled platform used to deliver psychosocial skills and education to assist in the treatment of PPD could fulfill those needs. Focus groups were conducted in seven cities across British Columbia with a total of 31 women (mean age = 34.5 years), discussing participants’ needs, ideas, and opinions as they relate to the use of technology in treatment. Transcripts were analyzed using the approaches of qualitative description and emergent thematic analysis. Five themes emerged: bridging gaps to meet needs; providing validation to combat stigma; nurturing capacity to cope, manage, and/or reach wellness; empowering people to take ownership over their mental health; and offering customization to ensure relevance. At the intersection of these themes was the overarching idea of promoting agency for women experiencing PPD. Ultimately, new mothers require accessible mental health care that ensures their agency in mental health care decision-making. Our participants believed a web-enabled intervention could help meet this need. These data will be used to guide the design of such an intervention, with the eventual implementation of this resource as a first-line treatment option for PPD.

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