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Current delivery of infant mental health services: are infant mental health needs being met?

Macdonald, Elspeth, Mohay, Heather A., Sorensen, Debra, Alcorn, Neil, McDermott, Brett, & Lee, Erica (2005) Current delivery of infant mental health services: are infant mental health needs being met? Australasian Psychiatry, 13(4), pp. 393-398.

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Abstract

Objective: To identify services supporting the well-being of infants and their families in an area of South Brisbane, Australia, highlight problems of accessing these services and recommend strategies to make them more readily available.

Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with staff from 18 service providers offering antenatal services, or programmes primarily focused on children under the age of 2 years and/or their families. The interview aimed to identify the precise nature of the services offered, problems encountered in providing those services, perceived gaps in services and potential strategies for improvement.

Results: Services were diverse, provided by a range of different professionals, in varying locations (home, community, hospital) and with funding from various sources. The major findings were: (i) the fragmentation of services, lack of communication between them, and lack of continuity in services from one stage of family formation to another; (ii) the shortage of services working with the parents and infant together; and (iii) the difficulty of providing services for some at-risk populations.

Conclusions: Recommendations included: (i) maintaining a range of different services networked through a centralized resource/referral centre; (ii) expanding joint mother–infant services and providing training for such services; and (iii) supporting outreach services for difficult to engage populations.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 15129
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: infancy, infant mental health, mother–infant services, service delivery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1665.2005.02232.x
ISSN: 1440-1665
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health and Community Services (111708)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Deposited On: 13 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:13

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