OB-GYN KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE PATTERNS REGARDING MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER AND THE EFFECT OF PERCEIVED NUMERIC ABILITY
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University
Ob-gyns are often the first line of contact for a woman concerning her physical and mental health. One of the most common complaints by a woman to her ob-gyn includes symptoms of depression. This study assessed ob-gyns' knowledge and practice patterns regarding Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Physician communication of anti-depressant information, and perceived numeric ability were also assessed. Surveys were sent to 220 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Response rate was 66%. Few (40%) ob-gyns indicated using standardized screening tools for depression. The majority (89%) of ob-gyns do not employ the DSM-IV to confirm a diagnosis of MDD, or before prescribing anti-depressants. Number of previous MDD diagnoses was not associated with estimation of prevalence rates. Physicians are relaying balanced treatment information to patients and are not utilizing numeric formats in a persuasive manner. More research is needed to assess the role of numeric ability in depression care.