Use and impact of psychotropic medication in pregnancy

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Melissa Wake melissa.wake@mcri.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Yanhong Jessika Hu jessika.hu@mcri.edu.au Personal web page
Prof David Coghill david.coghill@unimelb.edu.au

Summary This PhD student will work within the landmark 'Generation Victoria' (GenV) cohort, targeting all 150,000 babies born over two years (Oct 2021-Oct 2023) and their mothers at all 58 birthing hospitals in the state of Victoria, comprising consent, biosamples, and wide-ranging exposures and outcomes including administrative and clinical data. The student will contribute to creating a unique whole-state prescribing dataset within GenV by linkage/access to both primary care/outpatient medicines (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)) and birthing hospitals prescribing data during pregnancy and the perinatal period. They will map ante/perinatal psychotropic medication use in the GenV cohort and then use causal techniques (including consideration of regional variations in medication use) to assess impacts on perinatal and infant/toddler outcomes such as language development, fine motor skills, and body composition.

Project Details

Up to 20% of women suffer from mood or anxiety disorders during pregnancy, whose impacts on adverse pregnancy and child outcomes could be mitigated by antenatal psychotropic medications (such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative-hypnotics and other sleep medications). While these medications appear safe in pregnancy, the knowledge base is incomplete, so some mothers choose against needed medication due to fear it may affect their unborn baby.

This PhD student will work within the landmark 'Generation Victoria' (GenV) cohort, targeting all 150,000 babies born over two years (Oct 2021-Oct 2023) and their mothers at all 58 birthing hospitals in the state of Victoria, comprising consent, biosamples, and wide-ranging exposures and outcomes including administrative and clinical data. The student will contribute to creating a unique whole-state prescribing dataset within GenV by linkage/access to both primary care/outpatient medicines (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)) and birthing hospitals prescribing data during pregnancy and the perinatal period. They will map ante/perinatal psychotropic medication use in the GenV cohort and then use causal techniques (including consideration of regional variations in medication use) to assess impacts on perinatal and infant/toddler outcomes such as language development, fine motor skills, and body composition.



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Research Opportunities

PhD students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Paediatrics

Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.