Pediatricians' views of postpartum depression: a self-administered survey

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2004 Oct;7(4):231-6. doi: 10.1007/s00737-004-0058-4. Epub 2004 Jul 19.


Objective: To assess pediatricians' knowledge and views about postpartum depression (PPD).

Method: Self-administered survey of a nationwide random sample of general pediatricians.

Results: Of 1200 eligible pediatricians sampled, 389 responded (32%). Half of pediatricians (49%) reported little or no education about PPD. Many respondents (51%) underestimated the overall incidence of PPD. Most pediatricians (80%) estimated the incidence in their practice as less than the published incidence. Few pediatricians felt confident they would recognize PPD (31%). Pediatricians were rarely familiar with available screening tools (7%). Many pediatricians (51%) felt screening was feasible in their practices. In logistic regression analysis, intent to begin screening was independently associated with <6 years in practice, positive view of feasibility and greater awareness of PPD.

Conclusions: Pediatricians sampled have limited awareness of PPD and are unfamiliar with screening tools. Efforts to involve pediatricians in screening should address these knowledge barriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clinical Competence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Welfare
  • Middle Aged
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States