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Title: Help-seeking and treatment delivery preferences for women experiencing perinatal anxiety symptoms
Contributor(s): Maguire, Peta N  (author); Bhullar, Navjot  (author)orcid ; Cosh, Suzanne M  (author)orcid ; Wootton, Bethany M (author)
Publication Date: 2023
Early Online Version: 2023-04-03
DOI: 10.1017/S1352465823000012
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Anxiety is common during the perinatal period and despite effective treatments being available, many women with perinatal anxiety disorders experience barriers when accessing treatment.


The aims of the current study were to explore women's perceived barriers to treatment uptake; cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment delivery preferences; and the utility of the Health Belief Model (HBM) in predicting intention to seek psychological help for women with perinatal anxiety symptoms.


This study employed a cross-sectional design consisting of women with self-reported anxiety in the perinatal period. A total of 216 women (M age=28.53 years; SD=4.97) participated in the study by completing a battery of online self-report measures.


The results indicated that the most salient barriers to accessing care were: (1) the cost of treatment, (2) wanting to solve the problem on their own, and (3) thinking the problem would go away without treatment. Group-delivered CBT was the least acceptable treatment method, while face-to-face individual CBT was the most acceptable treatment method. The HBM variables predicted approximately 35% of the variance in help-seeking intention.


This study has important implications for the delivery of psychological care in the perinatal period and may be used to improve treatment uptake.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, v.51, p. 271-285
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1469-1833
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520301 Clinical neuropsychology
520303 Counselling psychology
440509 Women's studies (incl. girls' studies)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200409 Mental health
200305 Mental health services
280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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