Post-partum psychosis in Scotland 1991-2001
Barbour, R.S. & Raab, G. (2008) British Sociological Association Conference. [SLS]
Although the rate of post partum psychosis is estimated to be 1 in 1000 births there has been relatively little work that addresses the long-term implications of this illness – in stark contrast to the attention that postnatal depression has received. This paper reports on a study using the Scottish Longitudinal Study database, which allows individual women to be tracked over time (with 26,579 births linked to sample mothers of childbearing age between the 1991 and 2001 census). It has also been possible to carry out linkage with vital events, including further hospital admissions (covering the period between the two census dates and including length of hospital stay), subsequent births, marriages and divorces. The relevance of parity, age, education, employment, general health and locality will be explored. Importantly information on diagnoses (including those of puerperal psychosis and bipolar disorder) will be examined and this will shed light on the ongoing controversies surrounding diagnosis and treatment and the relevance of such debates for medical sociology. The presentation will highlight the implications of this quantitative study for the design of a further qualitative study which will explore women’s and health care professionals’ experiences of this topical and contested area of practice.