Qualitative exploration of the effect of a television soap opera storyline on women with experience of postpartum psychosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Lewis Roberts
  • Giles Berrisford
  • Lisa Jones
  • Ian Jones
  • Clare Dolman

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • The Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
  • Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom.
  • Perinatal Mental Health Service, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust
  • King's College London
  • Cardiff University


Background: Postpartum Psychosis (PP) has recently been the focus of an in-depth storyline on a British television soap opera watched by millions of viewers.
Aims: This research explored how the storyline and the concomitant increase in public awareness of PP have been received by women who have recovered from the condition.
Method: Nine semi-structured, one-to-one interviews were conducted with women who had experienced PP. Thematic analysis consistent with Braun and Clarke’s six-step approach was employed to generate themes from the data.
Results: Public exposure provided by the PP portrayal was deemed highly valuable, while its mixed reception encompassed potentially therapeutic benefits in addition to harms.
Conclusions: Public awareness of PP strongly impacts women who have experienced PP. This research highlights the complexity of using the medium of television drama for public education and may enable mental health organisations to better focus future practices of raising PP awareness.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry Open
Issue number2
Early online date19 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2018