Experiences of Perinatal Mental Health Care among Minority Ethnic Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic in London: A Qualitative Study

Sabrina Pilav, Abigail Easter*, Sergio A. Silverio, Kaat De Backer, Sushma Sundaresh, Sara Roberts, Louise Howard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
236 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

(1) Background: Approximately one in five women will experience mental health difficulties in the perinatal period. Women from ethnic minority backgrounds face a variety of barriers that can prevent or delay access to appropriate perinatal mental health care. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions created additional obstacles for this group of women. This study aims to explore minority ethnic women’s experiences of perinatal mental health services during COVID-19 in London. (2) Methods: Eighteen women from ethnic minority backgrounds were interviewed, and data were subject to a thematic analysis. (3) Results: Three main themes were identified, each with two subthemes: ‘Difficulties and Disruptions to Access’ (Access to Appointments; Pandemic Restrictions and Disruption), ‘Experiences of Remote Delivery’ (Preference for Face-to-Face Contact; Advantages of Remote Support); and ‘Psychosocial Experiences’ linked to COVID-19 (Heightened Anxiety; Social Isolation). (4) Conclusions: Women from ethnic minority backgrounds experienced disrupted perinatal mental health care and COVID-19 restrictions compounding their mental health difficulties. Services should take women’s circumstances into account and provide flexibility regarding remote delivery of care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1975
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number4
Early online date10 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Maternity services
  • Minority ethnic women
  • Perinatal mental health
  • Qualitative analysis

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