Developing a screening tool for common perinatal mental health conditions suitable for high prevalence, low resource, real world MCH contexts…and then?


In South Africa, perinatal depression, anxiety and suicidality are highly prevalent. Screening may provide a crucial entry point to care and may mitigate the substantial treatment gap for perinatal women. Commonly used screening tools from the Global North, while validated in South Africa, do not perform well in service settings. The Perinatal Mental Health Project developed an ultra-brief screening tool through psychometric validation and cognitive testing. This tool has been integrated into guidelines and standard procedures in maternity care across the country. However, uptake of screening by maternity staff has been low. Simone will describe the screening tool development process and discuss some of the systems components that are required for implementation of maternal mental health screening to be successful.