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Perfectionism as a warning sign for postnatal mental health difficulties

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Camilla Rosan, Sarah Finnis, Alessandra Biaggi, Susan Pawlby, Carmine Pariante

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-406
JournalJournal of Health Visiting
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2016

King's Authors


There is a growing evidence base indicating that maladaptive perfectionism is a risk factor for later mental health difficulties, such as postnatal depression. Perfection is defined as a state where an individual determinedly pursues self-imposed, personally demanding standards, despite adverse consequences. The article gives an overview of the links between clinical perfectionism and perinatal mental health difficulties, drawing on current research and models of best practice. Front-line health professionals such as health visitors are well placed to identify perfectionism early by assessing personality traits and other risk factors for depression and anxiety, and work with women and their families to prevent the onset of later, more severe, presentations.

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