Best practices: community-based postpartum depression screening: results from the CARE study

Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Nov;60(11):1432-4. doi: 10.1176/


This column describes findings and best-practice recommendations from CARE (Communicating and Relating Effectively), a prospective randomized study in which 5,169 mothers were screened for postpartum depression. The prevalence rate was 13%. Results support use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screening Scale and a diagnostic assessment for those who screen positive. Of the 674 mothers with positive screens, 26% were not asked about their emotional state by clinicians. Screening must be linked to treatment options via referral and follow-up. Best-practice strategies for implementing screening include educating clinicians and postpartum women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Benchmarking
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Massachusetts
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult