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Abstract

Objectives: This study aims to describe healthcare professionals' experience in providing mental health services to women with postpartum depression. Methods: In this qualitative study, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with five physicians, five midwives, and five psychologists from fourteen urban healthcare centers in Kerman, Iran, from April 2019 to September 2019. We used purposeful sampling to select the participants. Data were qualitatively analyzed using a content analysis approach. Results: Data analysis revealed the main theme of the study, "the long way ahead of comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health services." This theme includes four categories: "postpartum depression challenges, "social and personal factors," "structural challenges," and "need to change in the mental health services." The participants described that the diagnosis of depression is difficult due to insufficient knowledge of healthcare providers and hidden signs of postpartum depression. The participants described how different factors might cause depression. These factors were economic, cultural factors in the society, personality traits, community lack of knowledge, negative attitude toward depression, and limited family support. Moreover, providing mental health services has some challenges, such as limited human resources, insufficient financial resources, and incomplete or inefficient policy makings. Conclusion: Although measures have been taken to provide mental health services, there are many challenges regarding providing mental health services to mothers. Therefore, there is a need to take serious measures to improve mental health services and re-define the existing measures. Informing the community, empowering the healthcare providers, and planning to change the community's attitude and belief can affect women's mental health care with depression.


Keywords: Postpartum Depression, Mental Health Services, Community Mental Health Services, Mental Disorders, Depressive Disorder.

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How to Cite
Jannati, N., Farokhzadian, J., & Ahmadian, L. (2021). The Experience of Healthcare Professionals Providing Mental Health Services to Mothers with Postpartum Depression: A qualitative study. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal [SQUMJ], 1(1). https://doi.org/10.18295/squmj.4.2021.031