Identification and Management of Perinatal Depression: Differences between Healthcare Providers

Identification and Management of Perinatal Depression: Differences between Healthcare Providers

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Author Info

Corresponding Author
Jenn A. Leiferman
Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, USA


Objective: Pilot data was collected to examine providers’ beliefs, knowledge, self-efficacy, barriers, and practices related to perinatal depression and how they may differ across provider types. Background: High prevalence and detrimental impact of depression during pregnancy and the first year postpartum (i.e. perinatal period) on maternal and child health outcomes highlights the need for improving diagnosis and treatment during this critical period. Healthcare providers play a significant role in helping to identify and manage perinatal depression. Methods: Ninety-nine providers (e.g. physicians, nurses, mental health workers, public health practitioners) who provide care to pregnant women in Colorado completed a 64-item online survey. Results: Although 94% of providers reported it was their responsibility to recognize perinatal depression, variations across specialties with regards to responsibility to treat were found. Most providers (91%) reported use of a screening tool for depression, 60% of providers provide counseling on perinatal depression, and 80% of providers refer patients for treatment of perinatal depression on at least a monthly basis. Significant differences in knowledge, self-efficacy, current practices, and perceived patient barriers were found across provider specialties. Conclusion: These findings highlight the need for expansion of online training programs to increase awareness of mental health resources in the community, improve confidence related to diagnosis and treatment of perinatal mood disorders, and to enhance communication between mental health specialists and healthcare providers in order to effectively identify and manage maternal depression.

Article Info

Article Type
Research Article
Publication history
Received: Mon 13, Apr 2020
Accepted: Tue 28, Apr 2020
Published: Wed 06, May 2020
© 2023 Jenn A. Leiferman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository.
DOI: 10.31487/j.CROGR.2020.01.04