Minister Davies launches groundbreaking research at The Royal

The Hon. Tanya Davies MP, Minister for Mental Health, Professor Marie-Paule Austin, Head of Perinatal and Women’s Mental Health, Royal Hospital for Women and Bruce Notley-Smith, Member for Coogee, came together on Monday 3 December 2018 at the Royal Hospital for Women to launch groundbreaking research from the Perinatal Integrated Psychosocial Assessment (PIPA) project.

The project interviewed midwives and women to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of a new electronic questionnaire developed at The Royal by Professor Austin and her team.

Professor Austin, who is the architect of best practice perinatal mental health care in Australia, said she is delighted that The Royal have confirmed the importance and impact that this tool is already making in the care of women.

“This tool offers much more than the ‘care as usual’ model, incorporating important clinical questions into its algorithm which enables real world translation of care into the busy maternity setting,” Professor Austin said.

Findings revealed that the PIPA is widely accepted by health professionals, better at identifying women who need support and is welcomed by nearly all women receiving antenatal care, who say emotional wellbeing should be part of regular check-ups.

Minister Davies said the study will be invaluable in helping the Government consider how to improve our existing universal screenings in future.

“We know it is so important that expectant parents are screened for mental health and psychosocial needs both antenatally and postnatally,” Minister Davies said.

The event signalled a reminder to the community that over 10 per cent of Australian women will develop a depressive or anxiety disorder during pregnancy and in the first year after birth.

Andriy (Dad), Maryna (Mum), baby Leo, Minister Davies, Bruce Notley-Smith