Maternal health needs and interest in screening for depression and health behaviors during pediatric visits

J Pediatr Health Care. 2013 Jul-Aug;27(4):267-77. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2011.11.008. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Introduction: Our aims were to assess postpartum health care barriers; health status (including depression and health behaviors); missed opportunities to discuss maternal health at health visits; acceptability of maternal screening in pediatric settings; and association of these variables with income level and race/ethnicity.

Method: A mail survey was used with names randomly drawn from birth files and balanced for race/ethnicity and income level.

Results: The adjusted response rate was 27.6%, with 41% reporting one or more health care barrier(s), 22% screening positive for depression, and 30% screening positive for alcohol abuse. Women of lower income were eight times more likely than those of higher income to have health care barriers (adjusted odds ratio = 8.15; 95% confidence interval: 3.60, 18.44). Missed discussions of postpartum depression or behavioral health during pediatric or other health care visits ranged from 26% to 79%. Acceptability of discussing topics, including depression, smoking, and alcohol use at pediatric care visits generally exceeded 85%.

Discussion: Postpartum women experienced income-associated barriers to health care and generally had favorable views about maternal screening in pediatric settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Mothers*
  • Office Visits*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Young Adult