Creating Comfort in Choice Theory: Animated Video

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for our video in the 2023 IHDCYH Talks contest! Stay tuned for results in February 2024. 

This charming animation is based on extensive research done by Dr. Catriona Hippman.
It describes the personal journey women take in deciding whether or not to take antidepressant medication during pregnancy. It is created in the hopes that others can understand the complexities of making such a decision, while navigating internal and external influences.
Links mentioned in the video: BC Reproductive Mental Health Program | Pacific Post Partum Support Society | The Adapt Clinic -- sadly, the Adapt Clinic has since been closed 

Creating Comfort in Choice Theory

My doctoral work focused on how we can better support women who are trying to decide whether to take antidepressants during pregnancy. I did this through two studies.

In one, I interviewed 31 women about their experience of deciding whether to take antidepressants during pregnancy and then developed a theoretical model of decision making from women’s stories. In the other, I did genetic testing for 83 women who were taking antidepressants during pregnancy, and compared levels of depression symptoms for women grouped by variations they had in two genes that are responsible for enzymes that are involved in metabolizing antidepressants.

My research can be used by clinicians and patients to support decisions regarding depression treatment during pregnancy. 

This work has been curated into PharmGKB – the foremost resource for pharmacogenomics for clinicians and researchers [Annotation 15126962]; annotations can be found here.

Credits and Acknowledgements

Generous donors through BC Women's Health Foundation 

Research participants

Prescilla Carrion: BC Reproductive Mental Health Program, Research Manager and Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Lynda Balneaves: University of Manitoba Associate Professor

Dr. Deirdre Ryan: BC Reproductive Mental Health Program, Medical Director and UBC Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Jehannine Austin: UBC Professor; BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute Executive Director

Brooklynn Wong "The Amazing": Plain Language Consultant

Meaghan Jackson: Music and Sound Design

Yumiko Sasakawa: Animation Director

Research on the experience of severe postpartum mental illness

Thanks to support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Michael Smith Health Research BC, the Killam Trusts, and the BC Women's Health Foundation, I have been able to lead innovative research into health service delivery for severe postpartum psychiatric illness. 

I first recruited a Clinician/Researcher Advisory Group and a Lived Experience Advisory Group to support the work. Our Clinician/Researcher Advisory Group includes representatives from across Western Canada, the UK, and Australia. We have strong connections to world leaders in clinical care and research regarding how to best structure health services for severe postpartum psychiatric illness. Our Lived Experience Advisory Group includes 7 women who have been hospitalized for postpartum psychiatric illness in Western Canada. We are collaborating on a qualitative study, interviewing people who have been hospitalized recently in Western Canada for postpartum psychiatric illness, to gain a deeper understanding of this experience. To complement this work, we have partnered with Dr. Gillian Hanley to analyse administrative, population-based, provincial data, to enable a broad understanding of what health services are being accessed in BC for severe postpartum psychiatric illness, and who is able to access these services. Ultimately, we aim to make recommendations for how to improve health service delivery to support people in Canada who experience severe postpartum psychiatric illness.

Poster presented at the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting 2023: 

2023-05-22 CNPRM conference Hippman PPMI hospitalization abstract poster_FINAL.pptx