Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Psychiatry Med. 2001;31(4):355-65.

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

Author information

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



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center