Assessing decisional conflict and challenges in decision-making among perinatal women using or considering using antidepressants during pregnancy - a mixed-methods study

Fatima Tauqueer*, Anne Moen, Kirsten Myhr, Claire Wilson, Angela Lupattelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study aims to investigate decisional conflict and elucidate challenges in decision-making among perinatal women using or considering using antidepressant (AD) during pregnancy. A sequential, mixed-methods study was employed among pregnant and postnatal women in Norway who had been offered ADs in the last 5 years. Quantitative data were obtained through an electronic questionnaire. Decisional conflict in pregnancy was assessed using the Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) defined as either low (< 25) or moderate-high (≥ 25) (evaluated retrospectively for postnatal women). Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with moderate–high decisional conflict. Qualitative data were collected through focus groups with pregnant and postnatal women, and an inductive approach was used for data analysis. Among 174 pregnant and 102 postnatal women, 67.8% and 69.6%, respectively, reported moderate–high decisional conflict during pregnancy. Unsatisfactory doctor-patient relationship was associated with greater likelihood of having moderate–high decisional conflict in pregnancy, both in pregnant (aOR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.00–1.44) and postnatal women (aOR = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.08–1.82). Reported barriers to decision-making regarding AD use in pregnancy encompassed five DCS subscales: uninformed knowledge following contradictory research and unfamiliarity with authorised resources, unclear values due to emotional blunting and fear associated with AD use, inadequate support, uncertainty in decisions and ineffective decisions due to difficulty in finding personalised treatment, and diverging recommendations by the healthcare providers (HCPs). The quality of the interaction with the HCP plays a crucial role in managing decisional conflict and supporting informed decisions in the management of perinatal mental illness. This study highlights the need for increased provision of clear, evidence-based information by HCPs to facilitate shared decision-making and create personalised treatments for perinatal women considering AD use during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-683
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Volume26
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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