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The Women Choose Health Project


The Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences - University of Coimbra (FPCE-UC) and the Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive-Behavior Intervention (CINEICC) host the WOMEN CHOOSE HEALTH initiative - Healthier beginnings: Promoting patient-centered approaches to foster maternal mental health during the perinatal period, an initiative financed by the Fund for Bilateral Relations of EEA Grants. This initiative will last 24 months and has as promotor the University of Coimbra and as a Norwegian partner, the University of Oslo.

The Women Choose Health initiative aims to expand the knowledge about the decision-making process of women during pregnancy and postpartum period in relation to treatment options (medication vs. Psychotherapy vs. no treatment), when they experience anxiety or depression symptoms. This initiative also aims to raise awareness among the general community of the importance of the perinatal mental health, and of the importance of adopting patient-centered approaches in decision-making processes. This initiative has a duration of 2 years and contemplates different actions:

  1. A study (online questionnaire) that aims to know and compare, in Portugal and Norway (using a minimum sample size of 300 pregnant or postpartum women with anxiety and/or depression symptoms in each country), the most frequent decisions of women, the level of conflict they feel when making the decision, and the factors that influence that decision, identifying cultural similarities and differences in the obtained results; 
  2. A field visit of a Portuguese researcher to Norway, allowing the sharing and discussion of the obtained results and the identification of the best practices in perinatal mental health in both countries; 
  3. A training action, held in Portugal with the collaboration of the Norwegian partner, addressed to health care professionals that are working in the perinatal mental health area, in order to awareness-raising and training of patient-centered practices for the decision- making processes in perinatal mental health; 
  4. Several dissemination and communication actions of the initiative, which also aim to aware the general community about the importance of perinatal mental health.