Obstetrician-Gynecologists' Practices, Knowledge, and Decision Making Regarding the Diagnosis of Postpartum Depression and Psychosis
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University
Postpartum depression (PPD) and psychosis (PPP) affects women, infants, and families. Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are often the only medical contact for new mothers, and so can identify women needing psychological care. This study assessed ob-gyns' knowledge, beliefs and practices regarding PPD/PPP screening. Surveys were sent to 400 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.Response rate was 56%. Routine screening is more common for PPD (72%) than PPP (30%). Personal experience is associated with increased screening. PPP screening barriers are those previously found for PPD: time constraints, training, and knowledge of diagnostic criteria. Ob-gyns agreed more strongly that low prevalence limits screening for PPP than PPD, though those with lower prevalence estimates did not screen less for PPP.This study is the first to explore ob-gyns' knowledge, beliefs and practice regarding PPD and PPP. Ob-gyns are screening for PPD/PPP, though not universally so. Future research should identify ways to mitigate screening barriers.