Oral Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

‘Baby coming-you ready?’ Developing a culturally appropriate web-based and mobile app for perinatal mental-health screening and management for use among Aboriginal mothers and fathers (#8)

Jayne Kotz 1 , Rhonda Marriott 1 , Corinne Reid 1
  1. Murdoch University, Maylands, WA, Australia

This paper describes the process of developing a culturally safe and strength based approach to effective assessment/screening and management of anxiety and/or depression among Aboriginal women and fathers particularly in the antenatal period. The current recommended approach has the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale (EPDS) administered at least once in the antenatal and twice in the post natal period with women. Fathers and grandmothers are currently not screened. The appropriateness and validity of the EPDS for use among Aboriginal women, and the effectiveness of its administration by health professionals are uncertain. A community participatory action research (CPAR) approach was applied, with an obvious focus on active community participation and collaboration. Improving the mental health literacy of Aboriginal families, and increasing the knowledge of health professionals regarding the mental health needs of Aboriginal families, were both considered and intended consequence of this process. A mixed-methods approach was adopted. This includes analysis of current screening rates and patterns the strengths and weaknesses of current Australian alternatives to the EPDS, and an in-depth exploration and analysis of barriers, enablers and concepts pertaining to perinatal mental health screening. The result is much more than a screening tool. Using web-based technology and mobile apps, the resultant 'Baby Coming-You Ready?' is a culturally appropriate strength-based joint assessment process that supports relationship building and engagement, self-identification of strengths to be built upon and priorities for supported change. This family centred web-based mobile app has wide application for use across all sectors who engage with new Aboriginal families.