The increased trend in mothers' hospital admissions for psychiatric disorders in the first year after birth between 2001 and 2010 in New South Wales, Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Women's Health, 2014, 14 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2014 Xu et al. Background: The burden of mental and behavioural disorders in Australia has increased significantly over the last decade. The aim of the current study is to describe the hospital admission rates for mental illness over a 10-year period for primiparous mothers in the first year after birth. Methods: This is an Australian population-based descriptive study with linked data from the New South Wales Midwives Data Collection and Admitted Patients Data Collection. The study population included primiparous mothers who gave birth between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2010. All hospital admissions with a mental health diagnosis in the first year after birth were recorded. Results: There were 6,140 mothers (1.67%) admitted to hospital with a principal diagnosis of mental health in the first year after birth between 2001 and 2010 in New South Wales (7,884 admissions, 2.15%). The hospital admission rates increased significantly over time, particularly from 2005. The increase in hospital admissions was mainly attributed to the diagnoses of unipolar depression, adjustment disorders and anxiety disorders. Conclusions: This study shows that hospital admissions for mothers with a mental health diagnosis after birth in New South Wales has significantly increased in the last decade. Possible reasons for this change need to be studied further.
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