Composed of three stages of research, the MAP study explores how we can best assess anxiety and other mental health problems in women during and after pregnancy (perinatal anxiety).

Firstly, the project aims to listen to new and expectant mothers’ views on different mental health assessments. Next, we will test different assessment questionnaires with women throughout their pregnancy, to find out which one is most suitable for identifying perinatal anxiety. Finally, we will test the most suitable assessment method with healthcare professionals, to understand if the assessment will work in practice.​​​

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The aim of the study is to find a questionnaire which can be used to identify women with perinatal anxiety, so they can get the right treatment.

Why is this research important?

Mental illness affects 1 in 5 women during pregnancy or within the first year of parenthood. This can negatively affect the wellbeing of the mother, the baby, and her close ones, and symptoms can be intense and require clinical attention. Although we know that anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues amongst women, there is little evidence to suggest the best way of assessing perinatal anxiety. 

This study aims to bridge this gap in research, and ultimately improve the mental health care provided for pregnant and postpartum women experiencing anxiety. 

How is NCT involved?

We are involved as collaborators with City, University of London and the University of Stirling. We are part of a group of experts, including women who have experience of perinatal mental illness, midwives, GPs, psychologists, obstetricians, nurses, and mental health professionals. 

NCT, along with Maternal Mental Health Change Agents Scotland, provide the Patient and Public involvement in the project. It’s our job to make sure the project reflects the views and experiences of parents. 

We attend weekly core research team meetings, and programme management meetings. We also help with recruitment of research participants, and the dissemination of the research findings. 

What is the current status of the research project?

MAP kicked off in June 2019, so we are now in the second year of a project which will be spanning at least three years. We are currently recruiting pregnant women to test the different assessment questionnaires with. This phase of the project has been slightly delayed due to COVID-19.

Further information

For more information about this project, please visit the MAP website. You can contact the research team at, or Agnes Hann, our NCT representative for the project at

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