Suicidality among childbearing women a major challenge
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A study by University of Queensland researchers has highlighted the need to improve mental health assessments and pathways to care for childbearing women who experience suicidality.

The purpose of this scoping review was to summarize research that uses linked data to examine peripartum suicidal behaviors and critically appraise studies to identify evidence gaps and future research priorities.

A systematic search of PubMed, Scopus, and grey literature was undertaken to identify data linkage studies that examined suicidal behaviors among women in the peripartum period. All articles available through PubMed and Scopus up until the search date of 26 September 2019 were deemed eligible for inclusion. A grey literature search was also undertaken, through the Google search engine, on 11 November 2019. Studies were analyzed descriptively and synthesized qualitatively.

Eighteen studies were identified that met inclusion criteria. All studies examined the incidence of suicidal behaviors. Twelve studies examined sociodemographic correlates, associations, or risk factors, and nine studies examined mental health. There was a high degree of variability regarding how both peripartum status and suicidal behaviors were defined. Few studies used data linkage to examine suicidal behaviors from a health services or social services perspective. The evidence base could benefit from conceptual clarity and standardization of constructs regarding suicidal behaviors in the peripartum period, to enable meaningful synthesis of results across studies.

Data linkage can be used to improve understandings of risk factors and pathways. It can also be harnessed to examine both health and social services utilization, to inform coordinated multi-sectoral interventions and care pathways for women and their children.

Women's Mental Health
Source: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-021-01102-x
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