Measuring Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Baby holding onto parents hand

Appraisal of the content of measures potentially suitable for the assessment of postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Researchers: Professor Colin Martin, Dr Ruta Gada (ESNEFT) and Professor Richard Smith (ESNEFT)

Institute of Health and Wellbeing

A significant minority of women experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the birth of their baby.  Importantly, detection and screening remains difficult, in part due to a variety of measures used to assess for this disorder.  Evidence regarding the most appropriate measure is inconsistent at best and consequently policy regarding screening remains vague. Informing policy through evidence has been confounded by different tools used to assess the condition with little known regarding the degree of overlap in content across measures.  This project uses the statistical instrument content analysis intra-rater approach developed by Professor Martin to bring together leading experts in the perinatal mental health field to evaluate the content of candidate tools, compare item content across measures and assess with precision the degree of overlap.  This is critical in determining accurately and parsimoniously the most appropriate tool that may be incorporated into clinical practice or alternatively, identify the need for development of a novel measure should there be a significant gap.  The work will lead to:

  1. Peer-reviewed journal output detailing the research and findings.
  2. Implicit to 1. above will be policy recommendations relevant to local and National clinical practice.
  3. Direction of future research in the area will be indicated.
  4. Presentation of the work through internal and external seminars.
  5. Presentation of the work at International conference