Exploring experiences of perinatal mental health conditions in ethnic minority women living in the UK and barriers to access maternal mental health services: A review of literature.
Perinatal mental health is a major public health issue as it can affect the mother’s wellbeing, as well as child’s cognitive development. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative to avoid negative effects on mother as well as child’s development. It can be challenging to identify symptoms of perinatal mental health in ethnic minority women as there are variations cross culturally and regionally. The aim of the study was to explore experiences of perinatal mental health in ethnic minority women living in the UK. This was to examine efficacy of maternal mental health services to meet the needs of divers communities in the UK. A literature search was conducted using databases Medline, CINAHL and Psych info In EBSCEO host. In addition searches of grey literature was carried out. In total 20 papers were identified. The Institution of Medicine’s Social Ecological framework was used to organize and analyse the results. The most inner level was individual behaviour. Individual behaviour in the context of this study was ‘help seeking behaviour’ and the review identified barriers such as knowledge and awareness, stigma, communication difficulties. Other levels used as framework :Social, family and community networks, working and living conditions and Broad social, economic, cultural, health & environmental conditions and policies. Some frequent barriers included: isolation, culture, religion, language, and importance of being a strong black woman. It is important to ensure health care services are regulated more efficiently to ensure HCPs follow protocols and use available cultural specific resources when required. In order to encourage BEM women to engage with health services we need to raise knowledge and awareness about PNMH conditions in the whole community. Lack of social support and feeling isolated was a frequent theme in this review. We need to consider community based interventions to help these women are supported in the community.