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The National Perinatal Depression Initiative: An evaluation of access to general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists through the Medicare Benefits Schedule

Chambers, Georgina M., Randall, Sean, Hoang, Van Phuong, Sullivan, Elizabeth A., Highet, Nicole, Croft, Maxine, Mihalopoulos, Catherine, Morgan, Vera A., Reilly, Nicole and Austin, Marie-Paule 2016, The National Perinatal Depression Initiative: An evaluation of access to general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists through the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 264-274.

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Title The National Perinatal Depression Initiative: An evaluation of access to general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists through the Medicare Benefits Schedule
Author(s) Chambers, Georgina M.
Randall, Sean
Hoang, Van Phuong
Sullivan, Elizabeth A.
Highet, Nicole
Croft, Maxine
Mihalopoulos, CatherineORCID iD for Mihalopoulos, Catherine orcid.org/0000-0002-7127-9462
Morgan, Vera A.
Reilly, Nicole
Austin, Marie-Paule
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
Volume number 50
Issue number 3
Start page 264
End page 274
Total pages 11
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-03
ISSN 1440-1614
Keyword(s) Postnatal depression
policy analysis
psychosocial screening
Summary OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative on access to Medicare services for women at risk of perinatal mental illness. METHOD: Retrospective cohort study using difference-in-difference analytical methods to quantify the impact of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative policies on Medicare Benefits Schedule mental health usage by Australian women giving birth between 2006 and 2010. A random sample of women of reproductive age enrolled in Medicare who had not given birth where used as controls. The main outcome measures were the proportions of women giving birth each month who accessed a Medicare Benefits Schedule mental health items during the perinatal period (pregnancy through to the end of the first postnatal year) before and after the introduction of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative. RESULTS: The proportion of women giving birth who accessed at least one mental health item during the perinatal period increased from 88 to 141 per 1000 between 2007 and 2010. The difference-in-difference analysis showed that while there was an overall increase in Medicare Benefits Schedule mental health item access as a result of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative, this did not reach statistical significance. However, the National Perinatal Depression Initiative was found to significantly increase access in subpopulations of women, particularly those aged under 25 and over 34 years living in major cities. CONCLUSION: In the 2 years following its introduction, the National Perinatal Depression Initiative was found to have increased access to Medicare funded mental health services in particular groups of women. However, an overall increase across all groups did not reach statistical significance. Further studies are needed to assess the impact of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative on women during childbearing years, including access to tertiary care, the cost-effectiveness of the initiative, and mental health outcomes. It is recommended that new mental health policy initiatives incorporate a planned strategic approach to evaluation, which includes sufficient follow-up to assess the impact of public health strategies.
Language eng
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Sage
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078829

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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