Background: The perinatal period is a time of increased vulnerability for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). Emotional trauma is a risk factor for PMAD development and is common among survivors of extreme weather events (EWEs), which are becoming more frequent and intense as the climate crisis progresses. EWE-related stress and anxiety have not been extensively studied in the perinatal population. However, the limited available data suggest a negative impact of EWE exposure on perinatal mental health, warranting further investigation and investment.Objective: To address this knowledge gap, we interviewed new Australian mothers to understand how EWEs affect the mental health of the perinatal population.Method: Australian mothers (18 years of age or older) with a baby under 12 months of age were recruited to participate in a single virtual focus group session (seven group sessions were run in total) and complete an anonymous survey. Participants were asked questions regarding their concerns about extreme weather and its impact, as well as their general maternal functioning. Maternal functioning, depression, and climate distress were measured via the survey.Results: The study sample comprised 31 Australian mothers (Mage = 31.74, SD = 4.86), predominantly located in Queensland. Findings from the focus groups suggested six key themes; however, of focus to this study are three themes related to maternal mental health: health and well-being, helplessness and avoidant coping, and resilience and adaptation. Predominant subthemes focused on trauma resulting from EWE exposure, economic and heat concerns, social isolation, hopelessness about the future, and feelings of resilience.Conclusions: The evidence linking adverse perinatal mental health outcomes with climate change and EWEs highlights the urgent need for interventions in this context to protect perinatal mental health and well-being. By acknowledging the traumatic impact of these experiences on mothers, this study supports advocacy for policies that specifically address this issue.

Mental health impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on mothers = Los impactos del cambio climático y los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos en la salud mental de las madres / M. Pardon, J. Dimmock, R. Chande, A. Kondracki, B. Reddick, A. Davis, A. Athan, M. Buoli, J. Barkin. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOTRAUMATOLOGY. - ISSN 2000-8066. - 15:1(2024 Jan), pp. 1-12. [10.1080/20008066.2023.2296818]

Mental health impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on mothers = Los impactos del cambio climático y los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos en la salud mental de las madres

M. Buoli
Penultimo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2024

Abstract

Background: The perinatal period is a time of increased vulnerability for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). Emotional trauma is a risk factor for PMAD development and is common among survivors of extreme weather events (EWEs), which are becoming more frequent and intense as the climate crisis progresses. EWE-related stress and anxiety have not been extensively studied in the perinatal population. However, the limited available data suggest a negative impact of EWE exposure on perinatal mental health, warranting further investigation and investment.Objective: To address this knowledge gap, we interviewed new Australian mothers to understand how EWEs affect the mental health of the perinatal population.Method: Australian mothers (18 years of age or older) with a baby under 12 months of age were recruited to participate in a single virtual focus group session (seven group sessions were run in total) and complete an anonymous survey. Participants were asked questions regarding their concerns about extreme weather and its impact, as well as their general maternal functioning. Maternal functioning, depression, and climate distress were measured via the survey.Results: The study sample comprised 31 Australian mothers (Mage = 31.74, SD = 4.86), predominantly located in Queensland. Findings from the focus groups suggested six key themes; however, of focus to this study are three themes related to maternal mental health: health and well-being, helplessness and avoidant coping, and resilience and adaptation. Predominant subthemes focused on trauma resulting from EWE exposure, economic and heat concerns, social isolation, hopelessness about the future, and feelings of resilience.Conclusions: The evidence linking adverse perinatal mental health outcomes with climate change and EWEs highlights the urgent need for interventions in this context to protect perinatal mental health and well-being. By acknowledging the traumatic impact of these experiences on mothers, this study supports advocacy for policies that specifically address this issue.
Antecedentes: El periodo perinatal es un momento de mayor vulnerabilidad a los trastornos de ánimo y ansiedad perinatales (PMADs por sus siglas en ingles). El trauma emocional es un factor de riesgo para el Desarrollo de PMAD y es común entre los sobrevivientes de fenómenos meteorológicos extremos (EWEs por sus siglas en ingles), los cuales son cada vez más frecuentes e intensos a medida que avanza la crisis climática. El estrés y la ansiedad relacionado con EWEs no se han sido estudiado exhaustivamente en la población perinatal. Sin embargo, los datos limitados disponibles sugieren un impacto negativo de la exposición a los EWEs en la salud mental perinatal y por lo tanto justifican una mayor investigación e inversión. Objetivo: Para abordar esta brecha de conocimiento, entrevistamos a recientes madres australianas para comprender cómo EWEs afecta la salud mental de la población perinatal. Método: Se recluto madres australianas (de 18 o más años) con un bebé menor de 12 meses para participar en una única sesión individual de grupo focal virtual (7 en total) y completar una encuesta anónima. A las participantes se les hicieron preguntas sobre sus preocupaciones acerca de fenómenos meteorológicos extremos y su impacto, así como también su funcionamiento maternal general. El funcionamiento maternal, depresión y malestar climático se midieron a través de la encuesta. Resultados: La muestra del estudio estuvo compuesta por 31 madres australianas (Edad M = 31.74, DS = 4.86) localizadas predominantemente en Queensland. Los hallazgos del grupo focal sugirieron seis temas claves, sin embargo, en este manuscrito se centran en tres temas relacionados con la salud mental materna: salud y bienestar, impotencia y enfrentamiento evitativo, y resiliencia y adaptación. Los subtemas predominantes se centraron en el trauma resultante de la exposición a EWE, preocupaciones económicas y del calor, aislamiento social, desesperanza sobre el futuro y sentimientos de resiliencia. Conclusiones: La evidencia que vincula los resultados adversos de salud mental perinatal con el cambio climático y los EWEs enfatizan la urgente necesidad de intervenciones en este contexto para proteger la salud mental y bienestar perinatal. Al reconocer el impacto traumático de estas experiencias en madres, se apoya la promoción de políticas que aborden específicamente este problema.
Perinatal mental health; extreme weather events; climate change Australian mothers; perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; Salud mental perinatal; eventos climáticos extremos; cambio climático; madres australianas
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
gen-2024
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1024288
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