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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2001;31(4):355-65.

Psychiatric symptoms, functional impairment, and receptivity toward mental health treatment among obstetrical patients.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine psychiatric symptomatology and associated functional impairment among pregnant women; and to examine the obstetrical patient's receptivity to discussion of and intervention regarding emotional distress.

METHODS:

Fifty-seven patients 16 weeks or less pregnant presenting for routine obstetrical appointments at a faculty practice at a major medical center participated in this study. Each completed a self-administered assessment packet regarding psychopathology, functional impairment and service utilization attitudes. Statistical analyses were performed using chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests.

RESULTS:

Seventeen subjects (29.8 percent) screened positive for at least one anxiety disorder. Fourteen of those subjects also screened positive for depression. Those with positive screens for either anxiety and/or depression had significantly higher levels of functional impairment. Only five (29.4 percent) of the 17 subjects with positive screens reported having discussed an emotional issue with their Ob/Gyn, although 14 (82.4 percent) said that they would be willing to do so. All subjects (100 percent) reported that they would see a mental health professional if their Ob/Gyn referred them.

CONCLUSION:

Routine screens for mental disorders in early pregnancy appear to be a useful adjunct in an obstetrical setting. Although most had never discussed their emotional concerns with their Ob/Gyn, a substantial proportion of our study sample reported psychiatric symptomatology and significant levels of functional impairment that had not been recognized by their Ob/Gyn. All of the patients in our study sample reported a willingness to see a mental health professional if their Ob/Gyn referred them. Further studies investigating the benefits of antenatal diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders are warranted.

PMID:
11949734
DOI:
10.2190/5VPD-WGL1-MTWN-6JA6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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