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Non-attendance in specialist perinatal mental health services

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Non-attendance in specialist perinatal mental health services



  • Contact name

    Catriona Jones

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Hull

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 1 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    Women in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire who have severe mental health problems during pregnancy or in the year following childbirth can be referred to the specialist perinatal mental health team, based in Hull. More than 20% of these women do not attend appointments which have been made for them with this team. The percentage is even higher for first appointments. In order to improve attendance rates it is necessary that we know why rates are so low at the moment. We have received funding from the Hull Clinical Commissioning Group to analyse information collected by the specialist team; this includes the referrals forms and, if necessary, case notes. It is our intention to look at data from non attenders and attenders as a comparison. The purpose of this project is to explore why so many women do not attend appointments. We will look at whether demographic factors, such as age and ethnicity, may a play a role in non-attendance. We will also look at women’s mental health history, the reasons for referral and who made the referral, to see whether these may be linked to low attendance rates. The research team will consist of researchers based at the University of Hull and practitioners from the specialist mental health team. Relevant information from the referral forms and case notes will be gathered by members of the Specialist perinatal mental health team, This will then be analysed by the university research team. The aim of the project is to increase our understanding of why so many women do not attend appointments, with a view to then taking appropriate steps to increase the attendance rate, particularly for the first appointment. Perinatal mental health problems carry a significant long term cost to society. The Centre of Mental Health (2014) have identified that perinatal depression, anxiety and psychosis carry a total long term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one year cohort of births in the United Kingdom (UK). This is equivalent to a cost of just under £10,000 for every single birth in the country. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of this cost relates to adverse impacts on the child rather than the mother. Therefore it is important to gain a greater understanding of non-attendance in this context of mental health.

  • REC name

    North of Scotland Research Ethics Committee 1

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    4 Aug 2016

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion