Thank you for the opportunity to respond to comments received by the Journal. In response to the Letter to the Editor titled “Detection and management of perinatal depression by midwives”, we will address the following points. Our original conclusion stating “further training is required to ensure midwives’ competency in psychosocial assessment and management of women experiencing antenatal and postpartum depression” is not based solely on the 17.6% of surveyed midwives’ inability to recognise that further mental health assistance was needed for the fictitious test case. Instead, the conclusion is based on the pattern of results reported in the paper:
- •There was a 16% decrease in scores by surveyed midwives identifying depression in the fictitious test case compared with 79.3% in the Buist et al.’s (2006) study.
- •Mean positive and negative depression awareness scores of 5.0 (SD = 1.8) and 1.8 (SD = 1.4) respectively reflected a moderate level of ability by surveyed midwives to (1) recognise depression; (2) identify the need for help; and (3) identify appropriate treatments.
- •A higher proportion of midwives in our study advocated the use of antidepressants and identified it as being useful during pregnancy and postpartum in comparison to midwives participating in the Buist et al. (2006) study. However, there is presently insufficient evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of antidepressant medication in preventing or treating women experiencing perinatal depression.
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Published online: August 20, 2012
Received: July 11, 2012
© 2012 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.