By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage TodayMedical News: Depression More than a Postpartum Concern - in OB/Gyn, Pregnancy from MedPage Today
Published: January 22, 2010
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner
Screening women for depression during and after pregnancy should be strongly considered, according to new Ob/Gyn guidelines.
However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that there isn't enough data to support a firm recommendation for universal screening.
What screening tools to use, who should do the screening, and how often were also left up to the physician's discretion in the ACOG committee's opinion, published in the February Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The guidelines are not meant to downplay the importance of screening, cautioned ACOG president Gerald F. Joseph, Jr., MD, of Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans.
"Perinatal depression, postpartum depression, have the potential to be devastating -- not only for the patient, but for her offspring both during the pregnancy and after the pregnancy," he said in an interview.
- Note that the ACOG committee opinion strongly recommended considering screening women for depression during and after pregnancy but could provide no firm recommendation on universal screening or when or how to do so.
Infants of depressed mothers, for example, may be set back in their psychologic, cognitive, neurologic, and motor development, the committee wrote.
Treating the mother's depression can actually resolve a child's mental and behavioral disorders, they added.
The perinatal period is an ideal time to screen because of the mother's consistent contact with healthcare providers and opportunity to intervene, according to the committee opinion.
However, all ACOG guidelines are evidence-based, and there simply wasn't enough evidence for this one, Joseph explained…
Friday, January 22, 2010
Posted by Jodi Kluchar at 8:45 PM