Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a disorder with broad public health implications and consequences that impact almost every aspect of child development.
Methods: In this pilot study, study participants were 96 women who brought their babies to the University of Arizona Pediatrics Clinic for their 8-week well-baby visit. Participants completed a packet that consisted of questions about demographics, potential correlates of PPD, and the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). English and Spanish versions were available.
Results: Of a total of 172 women who brought their babies in for their 8-week well-baby visit, 96 women completed the packets, for an overall response rate of 56.9%. Observed EPDS scores ranged from 0 to 18, with a mean of 5.44 and a standard deviation (SD) of 4.83. Using the cutoff of EPDS > or = 12, 14.6% of participants were likely suffering from clinically significant depression. Higher EPDS scores and also categorical depression classification were statistically associated with reported smoking and a family history of mental health problems.
Conclusions: We conclude that screening for mothers at well-baby visits is feasible and that the data collected are of sufficient quality to identify reliable predictors even with small sample sizes.