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A Theoretical FRAMEWORK for the Development of Perinatal Period Mental Health Guidelines in Zimbabwe

Calleta Gwatiringa, Lebitsi Maud Modiba, Greanious Alfred Mavondo

Abstract: The need to create a harmonized process of handling mental health issues cropping up during the perinatal period in Zimbabwe cannot be over emphasized. The number of pregnant women needing perinatal management is growing. The number of trained midwifery nurse practitioner is also growing contributed from different nursing schools meaning different practice methodologies necessitating national guidelines to be adopted. A search of the literature revealed that the British Columbia guidelines provided a framework which could be adopted and adapted for use in the formulation of best practices guidelines to advance collaborative and supportive care as it applies to perinatal health care and client-centred childbirth. The guidelines were premised on the inkling that the use of the ideal strategy and a coordinated approach results in appropriate identification and effective management of mental pathology. The framework and the resultant guidelines, were able to guard against disturbances in the mental wellbeing of the women, whilst excluding the presence of mental disorders. The pillars of the framework we adopted to address dimensions namely: of instruction and avoidance, assessment and the verdict, therapy and self-administration, adapting and backup linkages. The adopted framework facilitates recognition, diagnosis, management and keeping track of ladies with identified mental health challenges. These were conceptualized as recognition, diagnosis, management and follow-up, giving a more promotive and preventive flair to the Zimbabwean perinatal mental health guidelines. Therefore, the theoretical framework for guidelines in mental health views mental stability is an interconnected quadlet of recognition of the tell-tail signs of the disease, diagnosis of the condition, management of the disease and follow-up of the those who have been successfully managed for possible relapses.
Keywords: adapting / theoretical framework / perinatal / Mental Health Guidelines

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