Online Program

Helping nurse family partnership clients cope with depressive symptoms and anxiety

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Linda Beeber, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
First-time, high-risk mothers who are exposed to repeated stressors, economic hardship and other risks show a high prevalence of depressive symptoms and anxiety that compromise sensitive, developmentally supportive parenting. High-risk mothers have had difficulty accessing traditional treatments for depression and anxiety symptoms because of instrumental barriers (cost, transportation, childcare) and stigma. These symptoms also limit engagement in enrichment services such as the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP). NFP is a trusted entity that positively impacts maternal health, educational achievement and maternal role acquisition, and child safety and health outcomes. Integrating mental health approaches into NFP activities is a model approach that can reduce mothers' symptoms and enhance child outcomes. This paper presents the process by which a development team has created an enhancement to NFP services that is undergoing pilot testing. Following a year of discussion and analysis of NFP client and nurse home visitor (NFPHVs) data, a team was formed representing NFP thought leaders, mental health researchers and clinicians, evaluation and implementation experts and field consultants. A consensus-building approach was used to integrate evidence-based interventions into existing NFP materials and design skill-building and supports for NFPHVs and NFP supervisors. An educational program spanning 9 months was designed along with pre-and posttest evaluations. The education was offered to NFPHVs and supervisors in 3 states. Anecdotally, preliminary results are positive. Long-range post-education evaluation data are being gathered and analyzed. Key issues in the process of introducing appropriately leveled mental health intervention, support and referral will be presented.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the significance of depressive symptoms and anxiety for mothers during pregnancy and through the first two years of the child’s life; Analyze the process through which evidence-based approaches to mental health care were integrated into existing NFP nursing practice; Describe the importance of consensus-building and broad representation in planning enhancements to an existing intervention.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have taught and/or practiced psychiatric nursing for the past 35 years. My past and current research focuses include depression in a variety of patient populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.