Perinatal and infant mental health care models and pathways

Reinsperger I, Paul J
Record ID 32018004228
Authors' objectives: Mental health problems are among the most common morbidities of the perinatal period (i.e. during pregnancy and in the first year after the birth of the child), with potential serious adverse effects on the parents and the child. Up to 20% of women and 10% of men are affected by perinatal mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety disorders or postpartum psychosis). Perinatal mental health care should include prevention, early detection and treatment of perinatal mental health problems. This scoping review aims to provide an overview of international care models for perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) from selected countries and to analyse and describe their characteristics as well as requirements for delivery of services. It is conducted as part of the FWF-funded research project "Co-designing perinatal mental health support in Tyrol", hosted by the Medical University of Innsbruck, within which the AIHTA is a partner.
Authors' results and conclusions: We identified a total of 6 documents that met our inclusion criteria: two evidence-based guidelines (United Kingdom [UK], Australia) and 4 documents that described national (UK, Ireland) or regional (Canada/Ontario, Australia/Western Australia) care models. An "ideal" care model should: - be evidence-based, needs-based, person-centred, and equitable. - provide compassionate, supportive, empowering care, based on collaborative decision-making. - include integrated pathways and multiprofessional, coordinated networks. - integrate interventions of primary prevention, counselling and effective early identification and screening. - have clearly defined referral pathways and stepped-care approaches. - provide appropriate evidence-based treatment with timely access. - consider not only the mental health and wellbeing of the mother, but also of the child(ren) and the father/partner/co-parent, as well as the parent-infant relationship. - include people with lived experiences when designing and implementing PIMH care but also when supporting people with perinatal mental health problems, e.g. by providing peer-support groups. - plan evaluation and/or monitoring of newly implemented interventions from the beginning.
Authors' recommendations: The scoping review provides a comprehensive overview of international good practice models for perinatal and infant mental health care models and pathways. The results from this report can be used for further discussion and serve as a basis for designing, further developing and implementing PIMH care in Austria.
Authors' methods: We conducted a comprehensive manual search in several databases and on websites of different institutions (e.g. ministries of health), and asked experts for relevant documents. We included English or German evidence-based guidelines and documents describing regional or national PIMH care models that focus on several different aspects of care (such as primary prevention, screening, treatment). The focus was on European countries. In addition, documents from Canada and Australia were included. We extracted information on a range of categories from the documents and assessed the quality of the documents using the AGREE II instrument.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2022
URL for additional information:
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: Austria
MeSH Terms
  • Perinatal Care
  • Mental Health
  • Infant Health
  • Models, Organizational
  • Models, Structural
  • Family Health
  • Mothers
  • Mental Health Services
  • Parents
  • Mental health
  • pregnancy
  • parents
  • prevention and care models
  • perinatal
Organisation Name: Austrian Institute for Health Technology Assessment
Contact Address: Garnisongasse 7/20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: HTA Austria - AIHTA GmbH
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.