Studies concerning the psychiatrist's experiences of treating women with postpartum psychosis (PPP) or how they react to these women are limited in the literature. In this study a qualitative design is used. Data collection includes semi-structured interviews with nine Swedish psychiatrists working in psychiatric hospitals. The audio-taped interviews are transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis. The findings consist of the categories: Protection, Treatment, Care, and Reactions. The psychiatrists describe emotions such as compassion, empathy and distress. A conclusion is that the psychiatrists focus on protecting the women from suicide and/or infanticide. Given the degree of stress the psychiatrists can experience caring for high risk challenging patients, health care organizations need to provide support and/or opportunities for peer supervision.


Psychiatrists, Postpartum Psychosis, Puerperal Psychosis, and Content Analysis


The study was supported by the Division of Psychiatry at Skaraborg Hospital, the Research Fund at Skaraborg Hospital, and the King Oscar II and Queen Sophia Golden Wedding Anniversary Foundation.

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