Presented in part at the International Meeting of the Marce Society, Pittsburgh, 11/10, the North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology annual meeting 2010, the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine annual meeting 2009, American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, Washington, DC, 5/08 and the World Psychiatric Association annual meeting, Melbourne, Australia, 11/07
Delivering perinatal psychiatric services in the neonatal intensive care unit
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2013
©2013 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Volume 102, Issue 9, pages e392–e397, September 2013
How to Cite
Hatters Friedman, S., Kessler, A., Nagle Yang, S., Parsons, S., Friedman, H. and Martin, R. J. (2013), Delivering perinatal psychiatric services in the neonatal intensive care unit. Acta Paediatrica, 102: e392–e397. doi: 10.1111/apa.12323
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 JUN 2013 05:59AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 FEB 2013
- Mayer-Haber Memorial Fund of the Cleveland Foundation
- Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC). Grant Number: UL1 RR024989
- Coping skills;
- Neonatal morbidity
To describe characteristics of mothers who would likely benefit from on-site short-term psychiatric services while their infant is in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
For 150 consecutive mothers who were referred for psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapeutic intervention in an innovative NICU mental health programme, baseline information was collected. Data regarding their referrals, diagnosis, treatments and infants were analysed.
Most mothers were referred because of depression (43%), anxiety (44%) and/or difficulty coping with their infant's medical problems and hospitalization (60%). Mothers of VLBW infants were disproportionately more likely to be referred. A majority of mothers accepted the referral and were treated; most only required short-term psychotherapy. A minority resisted or refused psychiatric assessment; a quarter of these had more difficult interactions with staff or inappropriate behaviours. In these cases, the role of the psychiatrist was to work with staff to promote healthy interactions and to foster maternal-infant bonding.
Overall, on-site psychiatric services have been accepted by a majority of referred NICU mothers, and most did not require long-term treatment. A considerable need exists for psychiatric services in the NICU to promote optimal parenting and interactions.