Mother and Baby Units matter: improved outcomes for both

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Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) are usually preferred by patients and clinicians. Current provision is limited, although expansion is in progress. To ensure successful investment in services, outcome measurement is vital.

To describe maternal outcomes, mother–infant outcomes and their relationship in one MBU.

Paired maternal Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) scores, Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) scores and Crittenden CARE-Index (CCI) mother–infant interaction data were collected at admission and discharge.

There were significant improvements in BPRS (n = 152), HoNOS (n = 141) and CCI (n = 62) scores across diagnostic groups. Maternal BPRS scores and mother–infant interaction scores were unrelated. Improvement in maternal HoNOS scores was associated with improved maternal sensitivity and reduction in maternal unresponsiveness and infant passiveness.

Positive outcomes were achieved for mothers and babies across all diagnostic groups. Reduction in maternal symptoms, as measured by BPRS, does not necessarily confer improvement in mother–infant interaction. MBU treatment should focus on both maternal symptoms and mother–infant interaction.

Declaration of interest
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry Open
Issue number3
Early online date19 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2018


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