A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Research & training

Training

A Doctor of Psychology (Health) has been offered since 1999, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, Department of Psychology. Clinical training experience is based at Austin Health. Registrars are rostered on placement in wards and psychiatric services. Postgraduate students from La Trobe University and Deakin University are also rostered. In addition, a range of professional development courses, seminars and workshops are presented by the Department. Psychologists at Austin Health are involved in supervision, in-service and professional issues through the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology.

Research

The Department of Clinical and Health Psychology is actively involved in clinical research across the hospital providing support to psychology staff. In addition to health psychology research through the D.Psych (Health) the department has developed a Parent-Infant Research Institute as a specialist Centre of Excellence for infant mental health. The Parent-Infant Research Institute consists of both a research and a clinical arm (the Infant Clinic).

The focus of research is on parent-infant difficulties focusing on the psychological risk to the infant, the parent-infant relationship and parenting risk factors.

PIRI aims include:

  • Treating parent-infant difficulties in the first 12 months of life.
    Early intervention.
  • Research initiatives to maximise infant development: cognitive, emotional, social.
  • Evaluating innovative interventions for prevention and amelioration of existing parent-infant difficulties.

This Institute is consistent with:

  • Current policy and strategic directions from Government - Stronger Families and Communities Strategy; Research on the critical importance of infancy for brain development and social functioning; National Mental Health Policy highlighting parenting needs of parents with psychiatric disorders, health promotion and early intervention; High Risk Infant Program, Department of Human Services - prevention of abuse and neglect.

This unique Centre builds upon the work of the Infant Clinic developed at Austin Health over 15 years and is well-placed to lead the field in parent-infant intervention and research. It is supported by an Advisory Board that will help to facilitate achievements of the Institute and raise its own funding.

Current & immediate past projects

Antenatal Support following Depression - and Enhancing the Parent-Infant Relationship. Victorian and Tasmanian component of The beyondblue National Postnatal Depression Program-Prevention.

Models of Care: Evaluating a best practice model for treating postnatal depression - Integrating primary health care.

Early intervention with premature infants: Improving medical, neurobehavioural and brain functioning through environmental interventions.

Toward Parenthood: An Antenatal Self-Help Intervention for Depression, Anxiety and Parenting Difficulties.

Optimising Emotional Health during Pregnancy and Early Parenthood: Improving access to help for women with perinatal depression

Body image concerns during pregnancy and the postpartum: What are the predictors and consequences?

Post graduate student projects

Bates L. A comparison of coping strategies and emotional distress in mothers of preterm and fullterm infants. D.Psych (Health), University of Melbourne. 

Mulcare H. Informational Needs of Cancer Patients: The Impact of Coping Style and Cancer Type. D.Psych (Health), University of Melbourne. 

McKay V. An epidemiological study of infant colic. D.Psych (Health), University of Melbourne. 

Cairns R. Coping with Surgery. D.Psych (Health), University of Melbourne. 

De Paola C. Developing a Risk Screening Tool for Vulnerable Families. PhD, University of Melbourne. 

Ross J. Preventing Postnatal Depression. D.Psych (Health), University of Melbourne.

Anticipated completion: 2006.

Kotevski A. Social support and cardiovascular disease. D.Psych (Health), University of Melbourne. 

Anticipated completion: 2007.

Publications in the last 2 years

Journal articles

Milgrom, J. & Meitz, A. (2004). Quality of Infant Experience in Day Care. Journal of Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, 11 (2), 39-50.

Morse, C. Durkin, S., Buist, A. & Milgrom, J. (2004). Improving the Postnatal Outcomes of New Mothers. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 45(5), 465-474.

Bosanac, P., Buist, A., Milgrom, J. & Burrows, G.D. (2004). General Issues in Research in Motherhood and Schizophrenic Illness: A Pilot Study. Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society of the Investigation of Stress, 20(1), 43-44.

Milgrom, J., Westley, D.T. & Gemmill, A.W. (2004). The Mediating Role of Maternal Responsiveness in some Longer-term Effects of Postnatal Depression on Infant Development. Infant Behavior & Development, 27, 443-454.

Buist, A., Morse, C.A., Durkin, S. & Milgrom, J. (2004). Metropolitan Regional Differences in Primary Health Care of Postnatal Depression. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 21(3), 20-27.

Milgrom, J., Negri, L.M., Gemmill, A.W., McNeil, M. & Martin, P.R. (2005). A Randomised Controlled Trial of Psychological Interventions for Postnatal Depression. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44 (4), 529-542.

Milgrom, J., Negri, L., Gemmill, A.W. & Ericksen, J.E. (2005). Screening for Postnatal Depression in Routine Primary Care: Properties of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in an Australian Community. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39(8), 745-751.

Buist, A., Bilszta, J., Barnett, B., Milgrom, J., Ericksen, J., Condon, J., Hayes, B. & Brooks, J. (2005). Recognition and Management of Perinatal Depression in General Practice: A Survey of GPs and Postnatal Women. Australian Family Physician, 34 (9), 787-790

Buist, A., Condon, J., Brooks, J., Speelman, C., Milgrom, J., Hayes, B., Ellwood, D., Barnett, B., Kowalenko, N., Matthey, S., Austin, M-P. & Bilszta, J. (2006). Acceptability of Routine Screening for Postnatal Depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 93, 233-237.

Milgrom, J., Ericksen, J., McCarthy, R.M. & Gemmill, A.W. (2006). Stressful impact of depression on early mother-infant relations. Stress and Health, 22 Accepted 23/02/06.

Buist, A., Milgrom, J., Barnett, B., Hayes, B., Austin, M., Bilszta, J. (2006). Health Professional's Knowledge and Awareness of Perinatal Depression: Results of a National Survey. Women and Birth, Accepted 3/02/2006.

Milgrom, J. & Burrows, G.D. (2006). Assessing and Managing Social Anxiety Disorder. Medicine Today, 7(5), 50-57.

Gemmill, A.W., Leigh, B., Ericksen, J. & Milgrom, J. (2006). A Survey of the clinical Acceptability of Screening for Postnatal Depression in Depressed and Non-depressed Women. BioMed Central Public Health, Accepted 15/08/06.

 

Books

Milgrom, J., Martin, P.R. & Negri, L. (2003). Italian translation of Treating Postnatal Depression. A Psychological Approach for Health Care Practitioners. Italy: Edizioni Erickson.

 

Book chapters

Milgrom, J. (2003). The Experience of Postnatal Depression. In Lancaster, S. (Ed.) Psychologists Working with Depression across the Lifecycle, Ch. 1. Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.

Funding sources

Milgrom J & Ericksen J. Happiness, Understanding, Giving and Sharing (HUGS). Stronger Families and Communities Strategy - Local Answers (Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs), 2006-2008.

Milgrom J & Newnham C. Premature mothers, fathers and babies - family recovery, relating and infant development. Telstra Foundation Community Development Fund, 2006.

Milgrom J, Inder T & Martin PR. Improving neurobehavioural development in preterm infants: A randomised controlled trial of a neonatal intervention. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2006-2009.

Milgrom J & Newnham C. Early intervention with premature infants: Improving medical, neurobehavioural and brain functioning through environmental interventions. Financial Markets Foundation for Children, 2005-2006.

Milgrom J & Ericksen J. Toward Parenthood: An Antenatal Self-Help Intervention for Depression, Anxiety & Parenting Difficulties. Beyondblue Victorian Centre of Excellence in Depression and Related Disorders. 2005-2008.

Buist A & Milgrom J. Optimising Emotional Health during Pregnancy and Early Parenthood: Improving access to help for women with perinatal depression. Beyondblue Victorian Centre of Excellence in Depression and Related Disorders. 2005.

Wertheim E, Paxton S, Skouteris H & Milgrom J. Body image concerns during pregnancy and the postpartum: What are the predictors and consequences? Australian Research Council-Discovery Projects. 2005-2007.

Milgrom J & Ericksen J. Models of Care: Evaluating a best practice model for treating postnatal depression - Integrating primary health care, Year 1 & 2. Victorian Centre of Excellence in Depression and Related Disorders. 2003-2005.

Milgrom J. Antenatal Support following Depression - Enhancing the Parent-Infant Relationship. Victorian and Tasmanian component of The National Postnatal Depression Program-Prevention and Early Intervention. beyondblue: The National Depression Initiative 2002-2005 (Victorian component of the national program and investigator on national study).