supporting fathers affected by postpartum depression in their partner: results of a pilot study

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Supporting Fathers Affected by Postpartum Depression in their Partner: Results of a Pilot Study Principle Investigator: N. Letourneau ( ) Presenters: T. Cluney, C. Hauer ( ), M. Weeks ( ) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Supporting Fathers Affected by Postpartum Depression in their Partner: Results of a Pilot Study

    Principle Investigator: N. Letourneau ( T. Cluney, C. Hauer ( ), M. Weeks ( )Academic Team: M. Stewart (AB), K. Hegadoren (AB), C. L. Dennis (ON), L. Duffett-Leger (NB), A. Doucet (NB)Additional Contributors: P. Tryphonopoulos, J. Donovan

    Fatherhood Involvement Research Alliance 2008: Diversity, Invisibility, Community


  • National Advisory Committee MembersNAC Chair: Carol Hauer (Calgary)MembersNew Brunswick: Tim Harvey, Murray Weeks (Fredericton); Derek Jones (Saint John)Alberta: David Este, Dr. Robert Pogue, Dr. Lorraine Natho (Calgary); Judy Evans, Linda Duffley, (Edmonton); Janine Neyedley (Sylvan Lake); Corrie Ryhasen-Erdman (Stony Plain)Ontario: Ed Bader, Tim Paquette, Bill Watson (Toronto); Neil Campbell (London); John Hoffman (Guelph); Bill Watson (Niagara)British Columbia: Linda King (Vancouver) Yukon: Nancy Gray (Whitehorse)

  • Presentation OverviewDADS Pilot Study findings

    Description of support programs for fathers

    Professional/Personal experience of paternal PPD

  • Background and Objectives of StudyIn an earlier CIHR-funded study, mothers reported that fathers were primary source of support .We sought to explore the following questions:What are fathers experiences with coping with PPD in their partner?What are fathers personal experiences with PPD?What are fathers support needs? What are fathers support resources?What barriers do fathers encounter in supporting their partners with PPD?What support interventions do fathers prefer for themselves and their partners?

  • Description of Participants Mean age = 37English primary languageNB, n=7; AB, n= 4 Pregnancy planned, n=7; pregnancy unplanned, n=41st pregnancy, n=6; multiple pregnancies, n=5

    # of FathersIncome After Babys Birth4$40,000 - $69,9993$70,000 - $89,0004$100,000 or

  • Fathers Experiences Coping with Partners PPD3 fathers did not realize partners needed professional help. thats my own ignorance. I didnt know what I was looking for. I didnt recognize there was as much of a problem (DAD_09)Coping behaviours:digging for informationescaping to workminimizing symptoms

  • Fathers Experiences Coping with Partners PPD9 fathers experienced fear & worry for partnerthe feeling of like I wasnt able to help her just because I wasntI couldntI didnt really understand why she couldnt sleep so and didnt understand how bad her anxiety was. (DAD_06).

    6 fathers experienced relationship uncertainty

    Other emotions: helplessness, self-doubt, anger and distrust

  • Fathers Sources of SupportMost common support needs: having information and someone to talk tomy handful of friends that I could talk to I felt comfortable talking about it were saying Oh yeah, this you know, that, we talked about it, we did this you know .(DAD_01)

    4 fathers (36%) identified the need of having their partner backgetting my wife back to normal was probably the number one thing. (DAD_06)

  • Fathers Sources of Support3 fathers identified exercise and having professional health services...what helps me in a situation like that is if I can get out and get a break, go for a run, just get out and separate myself. (DAD_05)

  • Fathers Support Resources3 fathers reported family/friends were principal sources of support.

    people just doing spot checks I hear you saying your ok, I just want to come over and visit (DAD_01)

  • Barriers to Accessing Support for Partners11 fathers reported lack of information regarding PPD.somebody should be there talking about this we shouldnt wait until it happens and then have an intervention, should be preventionyou know just talk about it at the prenatal stuff. (DAD_01)I was naively thinking that everything was okay, that that was the real barrier I guess, was not having some tools or some insight to say Here this is something that could be going on.(DAD_02).

  • Barriers to Accessing Support for Partners7 fathers reported stigma as a barrierUnfortunately mental illness is still one of those things that is kept in the closet to a large degreepeople say oh Id never judge people on something like that, but hey, Id beg to differ (Dad-02)I associated it with you know, Andrea Yates down in the States and thats, the one that drowned her babies and I think thats what people still to a certain extent associate it with and its not even close to the actual experience. (Dad_07)

  • Barriers to Accessing Support for PartnersOther barriers included:Lack of time and energyFamily denialCaring for other childrenNot wanting to burden othersWork commitmentsTransportation issuesPPD not identified early enough

  • Barriers to Accessing Personal SupportMale pride (7 fathers); difficulty reaching out (4 fathers); difficulty understanding personal feelings.

    I think men and women have different experiences its more accepting for women to share with her female friends about this stuff and men its not(Dad_01)

  • Barriers to Accessing Personal SupportI guess looking back now, I think I could have used some support. Somebody to talk to. Perhaps, like its a kind of a guy thingIm not going to really seek it out(Dad_03)

    Well, another portion is that male stoic figure that I talked about, its just my arrogance and Im a guy and Ill take care of it. (Dad_04)

  • Preferred Support Interventions6 fathers felt support should be available as soon as symptoms apparent:1 to 1, face to face meetings (11 fathers)Telephone meetings (6 fathers)Computer-based support group (1 father)Meetings in home (8 fathers)Meetings in community (6 fathers)

  • Preferred Support Interventions3 fathers wanted information on coping skills. 2 fathers wanted information on PPD.

    The most important issue...I think that from someone who has been there before to help them see that there is some light at the end of the tunnel...(Dad_10)

  • Preferred Interventions: Group Support10 fathers wanted health professional facilitation.6 fathers wanted peer facilitation9 fathers wanted groups to convene in the community.2 fathers wanted groups to convene in home environment.

  • In existence since 1981 in Calgary, AlbertaOn average 450 families per yearHolistic model of service delivery including:-Postpartum Support line, local and toll-free-Office Support Workers (intake and follow-up)-4 support groups throughout city -Peer telephone support volunteers -Postpartum information package-Trainings, consultations and referrals

    Families Matter-Community Based Postpartum Support Program

  • Held quarterlyAverages 7-10 couples3 hour information session about postpartum difficulties, expectations of parenthood and communication20-30 minute breakout session with Moms and Dads only groupDemographics-Women aged 20-42, Men aged 25-55-Professionals with mid to high income levels (both partners)-Primarily Caucasian couples attending with some South Asian and Latin American (overall clientele very ethnically diverse)

    Couples Information Evenings

  • Wonderful opportunity to connect with other Dads to know they are not aloneWish they had this information before baby was bornNow can understand what his wife is experiencing and support her betterFacilitators are knowledgeable and they appreciate the first hand experienceTime of session is too short, would like another I did more research on the kind of car I was going to buy then how I was going to be a parent.I pictured myself playing ball with my son, I didnt think about him being this tiny person that is so dependent on us.

    What Dads Say

  • Reach more Dads, especially those from other cultures-Attend Health Region Baby Care Fairs throughout city to distribute information-Provide brochures to prenatal education classes -Website information-Translated materials

    Provide support services specifically for Dads-Telephone support-Information sheet in PPD package for Dads-Couples Information Evenings-Referrals to other mental health professionals

    Challenges & Opportunities

  • Surveyed Dads who attended Couples sessionsResults:- 4-6 weeks maximum- Evenings or Saturdays- Facilitated by a Dad and/or someone who experienced PPDNew Pilot Group starting October 22nd, 2008-6 weeks, 6-8:30 pm in community based centre-Co-facilitated by male Registered Psychologist (specializing in Fatherhood) and female Postpartum Support Worker -both had own PPD experience-Dinner provided

    Postpartum Support Group for Dads

  • A Service Provider/Fathers Perspective on Dealing with Paternal PPDViews on DADS Pilot study findings.Mens motivations toward seeking support.Minimizing maternal/paternal symptoms and need for seeking support.

    Current paternal support programs

  • A Service Provider/Fathers Perspective on Dealing with Paternal PPDExperience of naming the illness.Listening to the experiences of other men.Lack of information regarding PPD resources.Fear Outcome Stigma Power/empowerment once experience named and validated.

  • Thank you for your attention

    ****The fathers mean age was 37 with ages ranging from 29 through 44.English was the primary language of all of the fathers interviewed. Seven fathers were living in NB at the time of interview and 4 were residing in ABTen fathers were married to the partner who had suffered from post partum depression symptoms at the time of interview while one father was single. Two fathers reported having attended a technical school, college or university, but not having completed one of these programs. Three fathers re


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