Perinatal Depression in Low-Income Women: A Literature Review and Innovative Screening Approach

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2020 Jan 7;22(1):1. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1126-9.


Purpose of review: This paper reviews literature on perinatal depression prevalence, consequences, and screening among low-income women and women of color. We introduce the Warm Connections program's innovative perinatal depression screening protocol and explore perinatal depression patterns among WIC participants.

Recent findings: Perinatal depression negatively impacts maternal and child outcomes. Research shows mixed findings of perinatal depression prevalence rates among low-income women and women of color. The Warm Connections program supports the ability of WIC staff to administer the EPDS to WIC participants. Perinatal depression rates appeared lower in the Warm Connections program than in studies using less specific perinatal depression screening instruments with similar samples. Future research should continue to explore perinatal depression patterns among low-income women and women of color. Partnering with community-based settings such as WIC provides innovative opportunities to provide screening, referral, and treatment for low income women and women of color.

Keywords: EPDS; Low-income women; Perinatal depression; Screening; WIC; Women of color.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Perinatology / methods*
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence