Early intervention for perinatal depression

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 May;192(5):1446-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2004.12.073.


Objective: This study was undertaken to design a process that effectively identifies and facilitates early intervention for women in an obstetrics clinic who are at risk for postpartum depression.

Study design: Under this new program, labeled ISIS (Identify, Screen, Intervene, Support), we educated our new obstetric patients and clinic staff about postpartum depression through patient education classes, departmental lectures, and handouts. Then, we implemented simple procedures to identify risk factors for depression at intake and screened for depressive symptoms at the 32-week visit using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). In addition, we facilitated treatment of at-risk or symptomatic patients with the introduction of a social work consultant in the clinic setting.

Results: In an obstetric chart review, 75% of our patients were screened for depression in pregnancy. Ten percent of these women demonstrated symptoms of depression warranting further evaluation.

Conclusion: Preliminary data from our multidisciplinary approach suggest that educating, screening, and appropriately treating or referring these women can take place in a busy obstetric clinic.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / etiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mass Screening*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Risk Factors