Post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth: an update of current issues and recommendations for future research

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McKenzie-McHarg, Kirstie ; Ayers, Susan ; Ford, Elizabeth ; Horsch, Antje ; Jomeen, Julie ; Sawyer, Alexandra ; Stramrood, Claire ; Thomson, Gill ; Slade, Pauline (2015)

Objective: \ud This paper aimed to report the current status of research in the field of post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth (PTSD FC), and to update the findings of an earlier 2008 paper. \ud \ud Background: \ud A group of international researchers, clinicians and service users met in 2006 to establish the state of clinical and academic knowledge relating to PTSD FC. A paper identified four key areas of research knowledge at that time. \ud \ud Methods: \ud Fourteen clinicians and researchers met in Oxford, UK to update the previously published paper relating to PTSD FC. The first part of the meeting focused on updating the four key areas identified previously, and the second part on discussing new and emerging areas of research within the field. \ud \ud Results: \ud A number of advances have been made in research within the area of PTSD FC. Prevalence is well established within mothers, several intervention studies have been published, and there is growing interest in new areas: staff and pathways; prevention and early intervention; impact on families and children; special populations; and post-traumatic growth. \ud \ud Conclusion: \ud Despite progress, significant gaps remain within the PTSD FC knowledge base. Further research continues to be needed across all areas identified in 2006, and five areas were identified which can be seen as ‘new and emerging’. All of these new areas require further extensive research. Relatively little is still known about PTSD FC.
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