University of Limerick
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Public health nurses' perinatal mental health training needs: a cross sectional survey

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posted on 2023-01-17, 16:19 authored by maria noonan, Rose GalvinRose Galvin, Julie Jomeen, OWEN DOODYOWEN DOODY
Aim To examine public health nurses’ education, training, and professional support needs in perinatal mental health. Background Public health nurses have a key role in supporting maternal mental health including screening, support, referral, and decreasing stigmatization. Design A cross‐sectional survey. Methods Data were collected from a convenience sample of Irish public health nurses (N = 105) from December 2016–February 2018. The anonymous postal survey consisted of the Perinatal Mental Health Questionnaire, Mental Illness: Clinician's Attitudes scale and Perinatal Mental Health Learning Needs questionnaire. Results Public health nurses reported good levels of knowledge (77.2%) and confidence (83.8%) in recognising women experiencing stress, anxiety and depression. They indicated less confidence in caring (50.5%) for women. The average score for the Mental Illness: Clinician's Attitudes scale was 35.9 (SD 5.9), suggesting positive attitudes towards women with significant mental illness. Conclusion Public health nurses require educational opportunities to explore expressions of psychological distress across cultures and their own personal attitudes to mental health, systems of clinical supervision, and support pathways. Impact Generating new knowledge on the importance of incorporating an attitude component in perinatal mental health education for public health nurses.



Journal of Advanced Nursing;75 (11), pp. 2535-2547


Wiley and Sons Ltd




This is the author accepted peer reviewed version of the following article: Noonan M.;Galvin R.;Jomeen J.;Doody O. (2019) 'Public health nurses' perinatal mental health training needs: A cross sectional survey'. Journal of advanced nursing, 75 (11), pp 2535-2547 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.



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