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PATH - Perinatal Mental Health (UK)


Project Background
Becoming a parent is an exciting time that brings many challenges affecting parents’ mental health. Illnesses such as postnatal depression, however, are not always recognized and treated. The proposal of the resolution 436 of the Flemish Parliament regarding timely detection and treatment of antenatal and postnatal depression has recommended raising the attention for emotional wellbeing of pregnant and postpartum women, to increase the knowledge of healthcare professionals and to implement adequate detection.

Aim and methodology
The PATH-project aims to prevent mild to moderate cases of perinatal mental health problems, specifically depression, and to support mothers and their families and to refer when necessary to appropriate services. The multidisciplinary project consists of six work packages, which include the development and evaluation of online and face-to-face interventions. Analyses are focused to provide cross-border similarities and differences regarding effects between control and intervention groups among various stakeholders like pregnant and postpartum women, their partners, healthcare professionals, peer-workers and employers. Outcomes include the prevalence of depression, stigma, help-seeking, public and professional awareness and parental attachment.

Partner organizations from four countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, France and The United Kingdom) will combine their existing diverse experience and knowledge in order to achieve the project objectives. The Health and Europe Centre is the lead partner in the PATH-project. Artesis Plantijn University College will execute the evaluation of the various work packages in collaboration with University of Antwerp.

Participate: online survey
We are looking for expectant parents or parents of a child of maximum 1 year old! Are you the person we are looking for and do you want to share your view about well-being during (future) parenthood with us? Please participate in our online questionnaire: http://bit.ly/2JuCEQT

When you participate in the PATH-evaluation, you need to know that:

  • The study has been evaluated and approved by an independent Ethical Committee (SHW_19_34). The role of the Ethical Committee is to safeguard the rights, safety, dignity and wellbeing of research participants. By no means should the approval of the Ethical Committee be regarded as an obligation to participate in this study.
  • The data that result from this study will be disseminated without disclosing the identity of the participants. Data will be encrypted and anonymised. IP-addresses, that associates you with your internet address, will be removed. All these measures will make individual participants unidentifiable.
  • Participation entails that you agree that the researchers collect information about you. If you have questions about the rationale for asking certain questions, you can always approach the researchers and ask for an explanation. You can print your answers to the questions being asked and keep these. We enhance the fact that we handle your information and answers with great care and confidentiality and that analysis will occur guarding and maintaining your anonymity. Researchers sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement, preventing third parties to access the data.
  • Because all data will be anonymised, changing answers or withdrawing retrospectively is not possible.
  • We will store answers for a period of ten years. If you object to this, you can convey this at the end of the questionnaire. It is possible we might use your answers in the future for further analysis. Yet, currently we don’t know this.
  • You are free to refuse participation and you can withdraw at any time and stop answering the questions. There are no consequences for you when you withdraw. Participation is voluntary. You will be notified about the identity of the researchers, who are available to answers any questions you might have (see contact).
  • You will not receive a (financial) compensation for participating in the evaluation. Your participation does not cost you anything, apart from your time and effort.
  • Participation does not affect your health or does not involve any risk towards your health. You might perceive questions as sensitive or personal. When your notice that certain questions cause strong emotions like anger or sadness and you wish to stop answering the questions, please feel free to do this.  
  • Results of the evaluation will be made available through: https://www.interreg2seas.eu/en/PATH

If you wish additional information, or have questions or comments, please contact one of the researchers: Prof. dr. Yvonne Kuipers (yvonne.fontein-kuipers@ap.be), Laura Van den Branden (laura.vandenbranden@ap.be) or Charlotte Brosens (charlotte.brosens@ap.be).

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