The Importance Of Perinatal Depression : A Significant Mental Health And Public Health Problem

2735 WordsMar 5, 201511 Pages
Perinatal depression is a significant mental health and public health problem, and may be one of the most disabling disorders among women of childbearing age (Earls & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010). Perinatal depression is associated with a multitude of negative sequelae for women, children, and families including poor maternal-fetal attachment, adverse neonatal outcomes (e.g., low birth weight, preterm birth, small for gestational age), poor infant attachment, early childhood developmental delays, and relationship strain (Alhusen, Hayat, & Gross, 2013; Grigoriadis et al., 2013; Leis, Heron, Stuart, & Mendelson, 2014). The perinatal period presents an opportune time to screen, diagnose, and treat depression given most women have frequent and regular contact with perinatal health care providers. Yet, most women who present with depressive symptoms do not receive adequate treatment (Allbaugh, Marcus, Ford, & Flynn, 2014). Extant research has identified barriers and facilitators to the successful recognition and treatment of perinatal depression. These barriers and facilitators may occur at the patient-, health care provider- and system levels of care. Critical to addressing these barriers includes timely and appropriate screening and patient-centered treatment for perinatal depression. The purpose of this manuscript is twofold. The first is to present an overview of research related to the impact of
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