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Study Screened For Post-Partum Depression, Examined Positive Findings

JAMA Psychiatry Study Highlights

A study by , M.D., M.S., and colleagues screened for and examined positive screening findings to determine the timing of the episode’s onset, along with the rate and intensity of self-harm thoughts. (Online First)

According to the results, 10,000 mothers were screened with positive findings in 1,396 women (14 percent): of these, 826 (59.2 percent) completed the home visits and 147 (10.5 percent) completed a telephone diagnostic interview. More episodes of depression began post-partum (40.1 percent), followed by during pregnancy (33.4 percent) and before pregnancy (26.5 percent). In this group, 19.3 percent of the women had self-harm ideation. The most common primary diagnoses were unipolar depressive disorders (68.5 percent) and almost two-thirds had co-morbid anxiety disorders and 22.6 percent had bipolar disorders.

“Although centralized by telephone as in this study is feasible in the early postpartum period, the challenge is to design a therapeutic program to support and retain women through diagnostic evaluation and treatment to maternal recovery and optimal function,” the study concludes.


JAMA Psychiatry. Published online March 13, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.87