Access to Adequate Outpatient Depression Care for Mothers in the USA: A Nationally Representative Population-Based Study

The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research (Impact Factor: 1.37). 01/2010; 38(2):191-204. DOI: 10.1007/s11414-009-9194-y


Maternal depression is often untreated, resulting in serious consequences for mothers and their children. Factors associated
with receipt of adequate treatment for depression were examined in a population-based sample of 2,130 mothers in the USA with
depression using data from the 1996–2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Chi-squared analyses were used to evaluate differences
in sociodemographic and health characteristics by maternal depression treatment status (none, some, and adequate). Multivariate
regression was used to model the odds of receiving some or adequate treatment, compared to none. Results indicated that only
34.8% of mothers in the USA with depression received adequate treatment. Mothers not in the paid workforce and those with
health insurance were more likely to receive treatment, while minority mothers and those with less education were less likely
to receive treatment. Understanding disparities in receipt of adequate treatment is critical to designing effective interventions,
reducing treatment inequities, and ultimately improving the mental health and health of mothers and their families.

Keywordsmaternal depression–access to treatment for depression–adequacy of treatment for depression–disparities in treatment for depression–population-based study–Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)

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Available from: Whitney P Witt, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "Furthermore, timely and effective treatment for mental health problems will be necessary to 'break the chain' of women's poor mental health. Many women may not be receiving adequate treatment (Witt et al., 2009) based on currently accepted guidelines, which may, in part, be caused by barriers to care. Accordingly, it is essential that health insurance policies include coverage for both mental health screening and treatment to ensure that these barriers do not prevent women from receiving adequate treatment. "
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