2019 MACH MRFF

Rapid Applied Research Translation 

Successful Grants & Fellowships

Prof Jeannette Milgrom​ AM

MACH Partners: University of Melbourne, Austin Health (including Primary Care affiliates)

Project title: Clinical Decision Support Integrated with eScreening for Postnatal Depression

Summary: This implementation study evaluates a new integrated e-screening and Clinical Decision Support System for postnatal depression by Maternal & Child Health Nurses. The e-platform has the capacity to reduce screening inconsistencies and deliver real, cost-effective sustainable improvements to the healthcare system.

About Prof Milgrom's Research Project

What is the problem you're trying to solve? 

One in seven women experience postnatal depression, yet only 10 percent receive adequate treatment. Postnatal depression screening is mainly conducted by time-poor Maternal & Child Health Nurses (MCHNs) who are not mental health specialists and receive limited clinical guidance for ongoing management and referrals. Current paper-and-pencil procedures are inconsistent and error-prone.

About this research translation project 

This implementation study evaluates a new integrated e-screening and Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for postnatal depression in primary care. Of 600 women in this cluster randomised controlled trial, half will be cared for by MCHNs using the electronic platform, and half following current perinatal mental health care practices.

The online platform uses onscreen prompts to assist MCHNs in making management plans and appropriate referrals to GPs and specialist services, thus promoting data linkages between health services and collaborative, multi-disciplinary advances in clinical care pathways. Our approach integrates research evidence through a new innovation for the care of vulnerable perinatal women and infants.

What will be the impact? 

A rigorously evaluated e-screening and CDSS approach compared to traditional paper-and-pencil methods will provide a tool that is acceptable and developed with user feedback that can be integrated into services to increase treatment uptake. The e-platform has the capacity to deliver real, cost-effective, sustainable improvements to the healthcare system.

Download this project summary:

For more information on this project, please contact the MACH office:

(03) 8344 9973

mach-admin@unimelb.edu.au

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