Background: Post-natal depression affects approximately 10-15% of women. The literature suggests that midwives and nurses are key professionals in dealing with post-natal mood disorders. However, this would be a new role in Slovenia for which it is not clear whether midwives and nurses are prepared.
Aim: This study explored Slovenian midwives' and nurses' knowledge of, and attitudes towards, post-natal mood disorders.
Methods: Two focus groups were conducted, each with five participants, working in the maternity hospital and in the community centre in Postojna.
Findings: Data were grouped into three main themes - knowledge of post-natal mental health disorders, role in the management of these issues, and perceived problems and possible solutions in the health care of post-natally depressed women. Participants lacked knowledge on post-natal mental health and did not consider its management to be their role. They saw the main obstacle to caring for these women as being a lack of continuity of carer.
Conclusion: Slovenian midwives and nurses should be appropriately educated regarding this subject in order to become more capable of managing post-natal mental health. Continuous relationships with women should be encouraged.
Limitations: Further investigation is required and a questionnaire survey involving a larger sample of midwives and community nurses is planned on the basis of the findings of this study.
- midwives'/nurses' role
- post-natal depression
- postpartum depression
- psychosocial factors