With the help of APP members we have conducted research into recovery from postpartum psychosis (PP). This has included a survey of recovery outcomes in 218 women who have experienced an episode of PP and a smaller in-depth interview study about factors that help and hinder women's recovery.
Recovery advice developed by members of APP is available here. Naomi Gilbert explains how we developed the information:
In August 2009 I had the privilege of meeting four other women who had experienced postpartum psychosis, at a research workshop organised by Dr Jess Heron. We learned about qualitative research from experts in the field, Dr Jon Ives, Prof Anne Davies, and Sonal Shah, at Birmingham University and the Centre for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health (CEIMH). During the training we designed interview questions and conducted interviews with each other about recovering from PP.
The interviews were audio-recorded and I listened to each one many times over to produce written transcripts for us to analyse. It was very interesting to see themes beginning to develop, and we have since used the interviews in two ways. We have written an academic paper about women’s support needs during recovery. This has been published and is available here. Secondly, we have developed user-friendly web information to guide people through the first year of recovery. The information uses our collective experiences and describes three stages of recovery (‘the early days’; ‘rebuilding confidence’ and ‘moving on’) and is available here.
For me personally, writing the web information has been a tremendously moving and helpful process. When I was expecting my second child it was so useful to reflect on all the things that helped me to come to terms with postpartum psychosis, and the things I wish I had known earlier. We really hope this guide will inspire women and their families in the early stages of recovery to have hope for the future and understand what to expect.
During the workshop we also produced a short You Tube film with the help of Lucy Vernall from IdeasLab which you can see here (we had great fun doing this too as you can see from the giggle montage at the end!)