Mental health care among low-income pregnant women with depressive symptoms: facilitators and barriers to care access and the effectiveness of financial incentives for increasing care

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2015 Jul;42(4):484-92. doi: 10.1007/s10488-014-0562-4.


Access to mental health care is suboptimal for low-income pregnant women. Using in-depth interviews, we examined barriers and facilitators to accessing care among 42 low income pregnant women with depressive symptoms. To pilot whether financial incentives would increase utilization during pregnancy, half the women were randomized to receive $10 gift cards after mental health visits. Women reported external and internal barriers to accessing mental health care, and internal and interpersonal facilitators. Financial incentives did not impact how often the women visited mental health providers, suggesting that small incentives are not sufficient to catalyze mental health care use for this population.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Medicaid
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Motivation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Poverty*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • United States
  • Young Adult