Two approaches to maternal depression screening during well child visits

Department of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States
Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 2.12). 07/2005; 26(3):169-76. DOI: 10.1097/00004703-200506000-00002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended depression screening for adults. Screening mothers has special importance to pediatricians because of the impact of maternal depression on children. The two screening questions endorsed by the USPSTF may allow pediatricians to screen mothers during routine well child care. This study explores the feasibility and yield of interview- and paper-based pediatric screening for maternal depression during well child visits. A structured interview script was developed to inquire about maternal depression. It included the two-question screen and required less than 1 minute to administer. An alternative paper-based screen asked the two questions after a brief written introduction providing the rationale. Four community pediatric practices in New Hampshire and Maine were trained in both screening approaches and developed plans on how to respond to positive screens (either question positive). The 11 providers at these sites tested the two approaches on two different series of mothers at well child visits. The pediatricians also reported barriers to the screening inquiries, maternal responses, and subsequent clinician actions and referrals. The pediatricians screened 250 mothers via the scripted interview. In a second trial, 223 women had paper-based depression screening. Yields from the paper-based screen were 22.9% versus 5.7% for the interview-based screener. Pediatricians also took on the new role of discussion of possible depression in about two thirds of cases. Subsequently, 7.6% of all women with paper-based screening were referred to mental health versus 1.6% with the interview-based screening. With the interview, mothers of children younger than 1 year of age were less likely to screen positive than those with older children (1.9% vs. 8.5%, p = .04). With the paper-based screener, no age differences in positive screen rates occurred. While both approaches to screening were feasible in primary care, the yield from the two different approaches differed substantially. This finding deserves exploration in future studies. With either of these screening approaches, pediatricians could enhance their detection of mothers at risk of depression. The outcomes of pediatrician screening and the best approach to follow-up care still need to be determined.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Early daily interactions in a child's life, frequent and positive, are crucial to optimal human development. The negative effects of maternal depression may include her perception of the child, the child's cognitive development and future antisocial behaviour. Emerging research investigating paternal depression is also concerning. Signs of maternal depression can be observed through either an intrusive or withdrawn maternal-infant interaction. The particular role of poverty, which affects so many Canadian families, is highlighted. Furthermore, the benefits and risks of screening for parental depression are discussed. Approaches available to the physician to address this issue using available resources are outlined.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Challenges exist when searching for diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies that include the design of DTA search strategies and selection of appropriate filters. This paper compares the performance of three MEDLINE search strategies for psychometric diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies in postnatal depression. A reference set of six relevant studies was derived from a forward citation search via Web of Knowledge. The performance of the 'target condition and index test' method recommended by the Cochrane DTA Group was compared to two alternative strategies which included methodological filters. Outcome measures were total citations retrieved, sensitivity, precision and associated 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). The Cochrane recommended strategy and one of the filtered search strategies were equivalent in performance and both retrieved a total of 105 citations, sensitivity was 100% (95% CI 61%, 100%) and precision was 5.2% (2.6%, 11.9%). The second filtered search retrieved a total of 31 citations, sensitivity was 66.6% (30%, 90%) and precision was 12.9% (5.1%, 28.6%). This search missed the DTA study with most relevance to the DTA review. The Cochrane recommended search strategy, 'target condition and index test', method was pragmatic and sensitive. It was considered the optimum method for retrieval of relevant studies for a psychometric DTA review (in this case for postnatal depression). Potential limitations of using filtered searches during a psychometric mental health DTA review should be considered.
    02/2012; 1(1):9. DOI:10.1186/2046-4053-1-9
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The value and appropriateness of universal postpartum depression (PPD) screening remains controversial in the United States. To date, several PPD screening programs have been introduced and a few have been evaluated. Among those programs that have been evaluated, most report screening rates, diagnosis rates, or treatment initiation rates. Only four studies included patient outcomes such as the level of depressive symptoms at 6 to 12 months postpartum, and only two reported success in improving outcomes. Program characteristics that appear to result in low rates of diagnosis and followup after PPD screening include requirements for a formal psychiatric evaluation, the need to refer women to another site for therapy, and failure to integrate the PPD screening into the care provided at the woman's or her child's medical home. The two programs that reported improved outcomes were both self-contained within primary care and included specific followup, management, and therapy procedures. Both resulted in the need for outside referrals in less than 10% of women diagnosed with postpartum depression. Future studies should be based on the successful programs and their identified facilitators while avoiding identified barriers. To affect policies, the future program must report maternal outcomes going beyond the often reported process outcomes of screening, referral, and therapy initiation rates.
    Depression research and treatment 07/2012; 2012:363964. DOI:10.1155/2012/363964