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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2009 Oct;12(5):329-34. doi: 10.1007/s00737-009-0082-5. Epub 2009 Jun 5.

Beyond screening: assessment of perinatal depression in a perinatal care setting.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Women's Mental Health Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, 912 S. Wood St., M/C 913, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Although screening for perinatal depression substantially improves detection, screening alone does not improve treatment entry or outcome. This paper summarizes a pilot evaluation of the feasibility and patient acceptance of on-site diagnostic assessment in perinatal care settings for women who screen positive for perinatal depressive symptoms. The model included screening, assessment by the perinatal care provider, an algorithm to guide decisions, guidelines for evidence-based antidepressant treatment, support through phone and webbased consultation, and quality monitoring to track and remedy "missed opportunities" for screening and assessment. A mean of 17.1% of women screened were identified as having depressive symptoms in need of further assessment. Of those identified, a mean of 72.0% received a diagnostic assessment on site. A mean of 1.4% of patients refused on-site diagnostic assessment. It is feasible to incorporate assessment for depression into perinatal care. This paves the way for better engagement in treatment, and better clinical outcomes.

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