Community mental health provider reluctance to provide pharmacotherapy may be a barrier to addressing perinatal depression: a preliminary study

Psychiatr Q. 2013 Jun;84(2):169-74. doi: 10.1007/s11126-012-9236-0.


This is the first study evaluating obstetrics and gynecology (OB/Gyn) provider and staff perceptions of barriers to accessing pharmacotherapy for perinatal depression outside the obstetric setting. Four, 90 min focus groups were conducted with OB/Gyn physicians, advance practice nurses, and support and nursing staff (n = 28). Data were analyzed with a grounded theory approach. Participants perceived that community mental health providers and pharmacists often do not want to participate in pharmacotherapy for perinatal women. Participants believed the solution is training for community mental health providers in the risks and benefits of pharmacotherapy for perinatal depression and improved communication between OB/Gyn's and community mental health providers. Community mental health provider and pharmacist reluctance to provide pharmacotherapy hinders OB/Gyn's perceived ability to address perinatal depression. Community mental health provider and pharmacist training are needed to mitigate precipitous discontinuation of treatment and to improve access to pharmacotherapy for perinatal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Community Health Services*
  • Depression, Postpartum / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy