Postnatal Depression Intervention Programme

Maternal healthcare in Singapore traditionally focused on obstetric needs of pregnant women. Postnatal depression can affect not only maternal well-being, but also child development. Infants of depressed mothers are at risk of adverse emotional and cognitive development. With postnatal depression affecting about 1 in 12 local women, there is a need for early detection and intervention of postnatal mental illness amongst Singaporean mothers to improve outcomes for both mother and child.

In KKH, the Postnatal Depression Intervention Programme was initiated in April 2008, and it consists of two phases:-

  • Screening Phase: Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) as a screening tool, women returning for postnatal review at selected KKH clinics are assessed for postnatal mental illness and provided appropriate care plans.
  • Intervention Phase: Women identified as at-risk are provided counseling support and phone follow-up care. The high-scorers identified as possible cases are entered into ambulatory clinical intervention using a case management model. Incorporating multidisciplinary team input was provided as needed for each individual case, as well as support group intervention.

Outcome measures include improvement in scores on the EPDS scores, Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), EQ-5D health quality scores, as well as Patient Satisfaction measures. We found that screening for postpartum depression was acceptable to the majority of women. The screening and intervention programme was also well-accepted by women as reflected by the satisfaction measures.

Preliminary results from our pilot programme targeting early detection and intervention of Postnatal Depression show beneficial results and are considered sustainable. The programme has been open to accept non-KKH referrals, as it has been concurrently extending education awareness efforts into the community. The team is also gathering research in this area to better inform and improve care.

Outcome measures:

Performance Indicators FY12: Apr 12 - Mar 13 FY13: Apr 13 - Mar 14
% satisfied with clinical services provided (Psych) 100% 95%
% of patients with 20% improvement in EPDS score from baseline to dicharge/6 months (whichever earlier)** 95% 93%
% of patients with improvement in GAF functioning scores to last assessment at least 5 point improvement 90% 93%
% of women/family who were given information on emotional health 100% 100%
% of patients with improvement in Euroqol Health Quality of life index 83% 93%
Find A Doctor
Book An Appointment
Admission And Charges
Health X-Change
Estimated Bill Calculators
Admissions Buddy
Quick Links