INTERPERSONAL
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Open and honest communication​

Open and honest communication between women and health professionals.

  • Open and honest communication .

  • A lack of open and honest communication.

Open and honest communication ​

Open and honest communication between women and health professionals can be a facilitator to perinatal mental health care​.

 

"And I was so grateful, and then I just talked to her, and it was so nice to be able to talk freely with her [about the EPDS] at the time.​"​

Evidence level: ​Moderate

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Assessment, Decision to disclose, Women’s experience of treatment​.

Key literature: ​

Shakespeare J, et al. 2003

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A lack of open and honest communication ​

A lack of open and honest communication between women and health professionals can be a barrier to perinatal mental health care​.

"Women reported that they were given incorrect or incomplete information because staff felt that they could not communicate with them, leaving them unsure of the appropriate places and people to talk to…​​".​

​Evidence level: Moderate​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Assessment, Decision to disclose, Women’s experience of treatment​.

​Key literature: ​

Watson H, et al. 2019

Recommendations 

We recommend health professionals participate in continuing professional development activities related to perinatal mental health including participating in high quality training which focuses on communication skills​.

To ensure there are opportunities for health professionals and women to form trusting relationships and therefore encourage open and honest communication, we recommend continuity of carer across the care pathway​.