Andrea Schaffer an early career researcher from the Centre for Big Data in Health, UNSW was highly commended for her paper ‘”Trajectories of antipsychotic use before and during pregnancy, and associated maternal and birth characteristics” published in Aust N Z J Psychiatry. The paper described a study of antipsychotic use in a cohort of 137,993 women from the Maternal Use of Medications and Safety (MUMS) study who gave birth in New South Wales, and characterised them according to their mental health characteristics and birth outcomes using linked administrative health data (perinatal data, medicine claims data, hospital admissions, and death registry data). Women using antipsychotic medicines around pregnancy were heterogeneous, with varying mental health needs and complexity of treatment, and high rates of risk factors such as smoking and substance use disorder. It is therefore important that clinical guidance about use of antipsychotics in pregnancy be tailored to a woman’s individual circumstances as much as possible.
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