The attitudes of gynaecologists, midwives, and pregnant women towards antidepressant use and preventive cognitive therapy during pregnancy.
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Introduction. Approximately two percent of all pregnant women in the Netherlands use antidepressants (AD) during their pregnancy. However, the use is still controversial. An alternative to prevent depression relapse is preventive cognitive therapy (PCT). Nowadays, the attitudes of gynaecologists, midwives and pregnant women towards these two depression relapse prevention treatments are unknown. However, it seems important to examine these attitudes, because gynaecologists, midwives and pregnant women often differ in their treatment preferences. The examination of these differences will reveal the position of each of these groups. This will help health professionals to be more aware of their own attitude. Besides, they can take the preferences of their colleagues and their pregnant patients more seriously, which will lead to more patients commitment. Methods. A cross-sectional, self report study among 18 gynaecologist, 38 midwives and 55 pregnant women was performed. The participants filled in a questionnaire to assess the attitudes towards AD and PCT. Results. Gynaecologists significantly showed a more negative attitude towards PCT compared to midwives and pregnant women. The majority of gynaecologists and midwives chose PCT above antidepressants for preventing depression during pregnancy. There was no difference between the groups in attitude towards antidepressants. Besides, a more negative attitude towards PCT showed a non-significant trend with experiencing more self-stigma. Discussion. Health professionals should take this knowledge into account while making a decision with pregnant women about relapse prevention for depression. Besides, they should encourage pregnant women to express their own preferences. This could prevent pregnant women from deciding to stop taking antidepressants without consultation.