A Program Evaluation of Behavioral Health Integration in a Freestanding Birth Center

J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2021 Jan-Mar;35(1):29-36. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000533.


The objective of this evaluation was to evaluate the integration of behavioral health services at a freestanding birth center. Program evaluation included (1) retrospective health record reviews and (2) provider and client evaluation of satisfaction. In May 2017, an urban freestanding birth center initiated grant-funded integrated behavioral health services. Participants included women receiving perinatal care from May 2016 to April 2018 (n = 831). Clients (n = 414) and providers (n = 9) were surveyed through e-mail, with 166 (40%) and 7 (78%) responses, respectively. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Screening and treatment of depression were identified from health records. The on-site therapist saw 21% of women who birthed during the program's first year. Compared with the year before the program began, in the program's first year, more women were screened for depression at least once (401/415 (96.6%) vs 413/415 (99.5%), P = .002) and more women with an indication received treatment (62.5% [105/168] vs 34.5% [38/110], P < .001). Provider and client satisfaction was high. The on-site therapist provided services easily integrated into the freestanding birth center practice, resulting in increased depression screening and treatment, with overwhelming client and provider satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Medicine / methods*
  • Birthing Centers / organization & administration*
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Perinatal Care / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales