Purpose – Perinatal drug users are a marginalized group at risk of depression and parenting stress. This study aims to inform service development by determining key components needed to reduce depression among this population by triangulating data from qualitative interviews with service users and their care providers. Design/methodology/approach – Pre and post natal in‐depth qualitative interviews with drug users attending a specialist antenatal clinic in Melbourne, Australia, and their care providers were conducted; and an email survey of experts was undertaken. Twenty‐eight interviews were conducted and the views of ten experts were received. Data from these sources were triangulated to determine the key components of an intervention to reduce depression among perinatal drug users. Findings – There was high concordance among data sources. Key service components identified were: case management; extended postnatal care; access to mental health services and drug treatment including relapse prevention; parenting support, and housing support. Judgmental attitudes from healthcare staff and the fear of child protection may be barriers to accessing services. Research limitations/implications – The study findings are limited by the small sample size. Practical implications – Services should be enhanced in pregnancy and the early parenting years to build a service model that incorporates the key components identified in this study and supported in the literature. Originality/value – The originality and value of this study is that it determines the key service components needed to reduce depression among perinatal drug users by triangulating their experiences and views, that of their care providers and expert opinion.
Advances in Dual Diagnosis – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 16, 2012
Keywords: Substance abuse; Perinatal drug users; Triangulation; Depression; Pregnancy; Care providers; Drug addiction; Australia; Service improvements