I mentioned some time ago that I was involved in research with the McPin Foundation and UCL looking at how women make choices about whether to continue psychotropic meds in pregnancy. It’s time for an update – and a plea for your help!
I think this study is incredibly important. Not much is really known about what kind of information women are given and how supported/unsupported they feel in their decision by healthcare professionals, family or friends, nor is there much useful evidence about the safety of these drugs in pregnancy. We are hoping to improve the quality of information available by looking at outcomes (from statistical data) and what women tell us about this issue (qualitative data).
I am one of four women service users of childbearing age forming the Lived Experience Advisory Panel for the project. One of our roles is to conduct interviews with participants to obtain the qualitative data. We hope that using interviewers who have personal experience of severe mental illness helps break down barriers and encourages women to speak openly about their experiences. Our data collection is now well underway and we have some really interesting data coming through, but we still very much need women who are willing to be interviewed. We would love to hear from you if:
– you are a woman with a child under five who had to decide whether to carry on taking meds in pregnancy
– you have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, perinatal psychosis, depression with psychosis or borderline personality disorder
– you have been prescribed anti-psychotics or mood-stabilisers for your mental health (please note we are unable to look at decisions about antidepressants in this particular study).
If you meet the criteria we would ask for approximately one hour of your time and can conduct the interview in your own home or another place of your own choosing.
If this sounds like you, we would love you to take a look at the information sheet and get in touch with McPin. If you have a friend or relative you think may be eligible and willing to take part, please do point them in the direction of the information sheet.
Hoping to hear from some of you!