Perinatal depression and screening among Aboriginal Australians in the Kimberley
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PROBLEM: Adhoc culturally questionable perinatal mental-health screening among Aboriginal women in the Kimberley. BACKGROUND: Mental-health issues, substance abuse and suicide attempts are high among young Aboriginal women in Australia. There is no evidence that the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is effective or culturally safe. Screening practices are complicated by limited understanding of the complex cultural interface between Western and Aboriginal beliefs and notions about health and mental-health. QUESTION: What is the current context of perinatal mental-health screening practices among Aboriginal women in the Kimberley and what might be considered a culturally safe approach? METHODS: A review of the literature and exploration of current screening practices preceded community participatory action research (CPAR) of perinatal mental-health screening. RESULTS: More than 100 Kimberley women and 72 health practitioners contributed to this joint strategic body of work. Recommendations for practice include one single culturally appropriate Kimberley version of the EPDS.
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