Study Suggests Mothers be Screened for Postpartum Depression During Infant Hospitalization

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The prospective study was conducted among 310 women with infants who were admitted to hospitalist services
The prospective study was conducted among 310 women with infants who were admitted to hospitalist services

HealthDay News — Postpartum depression screening conducted during infant hospitalization can identify depression among previously unscreened women, according to a study published online August 16 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Margaret J. Trost, MD, from the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and colleagues assessed postpartum depression at infant hospitalization in a prospective study conducted among 310 women with an infant aged 2 weeks to 1 year who were admitted to a pediatric hospitalist service. Mothers completed demographic questionnaires, a maternal-infant bonding scale, and the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). Those with a positive screen on the EPDS received counseling and mental health referrals.

The researchers found that 28% of mothers were positive on the EPDS. Appropriate prior depression screening was reported by 14.6%. Poor social support and history of psychiatric diagnoses were maternal factors associated with being EPDS+ (odds ratios, 4.40 and 5.02, respectively); there was a correlation for having an infant with neurodevelopmental comorbidities with EPDS+ screens (odds ratio, 2.78). Of the 21 initially EPDS+ mothers who were reached by phone, 38% used their doctor or referral resource, resulting in lower EPDS scores versus those not seeking help (P<0.05).

"Postpartum depression screening during infant hospitalizations captures women previously unscreened," the authors write.

Abstract
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