INDIVIDUAL
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Beliefs About Health Services

Certain beliefs about health services can impact whether services are implemented and delivered successfully, and whether women seek help and access services. These beliefs include:​

  • Services only offer medication

  • Services are stretched​

  • Services are too complicated

  • No trust in health services

Services only offer medication

Believing health services will only offer medication for perinatal mental illness may act as a barrier to perinatal mental health care​.​

"I knew she would just write me a prescription and send me away…that wasn’t what I wanted​.​"

Evidence level: Low​

Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Assessment, Deciding to disclose, Access to treatment, Provision of optimal treatment.​​

Key literature: ​

Button S, et al. 2017

Services Are Too Complicated 

Believing health services are too complicated may act as a barrier to perinatal mental health care​

"Consistently identified barriers to care for immigrant women were: ‘not understanding the health-care system’”

​Evidence level: Low​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Access to treatment​.

​​Key literature: ​

Ganann R, et al. 2019

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Services Are Stretched

Believing perinatal mental health services are too stretched and therefore will be unable to help, may act as a barrier to perinatal mental health care.​​

"I think it was just that they were really busy and just didn’t really have enough time for everybody with their kids".​

Evidence level: Low​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Deciding to disclose​.

​Key literature: ​

Hadfield H, et al. 2017

No trust in health services

Having little trust in health services may act as a barrier to perinatal mental health care​

"The personal barriers described were mistrust, [and] fear of mental health service systems".

​Evidence level: Low​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Access to treatment​

​Key literature: ​

Boyd RC, et al. 2011 

Recommendations

More research is needed into beliefs about health systems using rigorous methodology, before recommendations for policy and practice can be made.