Collaborative Care for Perinatal Depression Among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Women: Adverse Neonatal Birth Events and Treatment Response

Amritha Bhat, Nancy K Grote, Joan Russo, Mary Jane Lohr, Hyunzee Jung, Caroline E Rouse, Elaine C Howell, Jennifer L Melville, Kathy Carson, Wayne Katon
Psychiatric Services: a Journal of the American Psychiatric Association 2017 January 1, 68 (1): 17-24

OBJECTIVE: The study examined the effectiveness of a perinatal collaborative care intervention in moderating the effects of adverse neonatal birth events on risks of postpartum depressive symptoms and impaired functioning among women of lower socioeconomic status with antenatal depression.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial with blinded outcome assessments was conducted in ten public health centers, comparing MOMCare (choice of brief interpersonal psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or both) with intensive maternity support services (MSS-Plus). Participants had probable diagnoses of major depressive disorder or dysthymia during pregnancy. Generalized estimating equations estimated differences in depression and functioning measures between groups with and without adverse birth events within the treatment arms. A total of 160 women, 43% of whom experienced at least one adverse birth event, were included in the analyses.

RESULTS: For women who received MOMCare, postpartum depression scores (measured with the Symptom Checklist-20) did not differ by whether or not they experienced an adverse birth event (mean±SD scores of .86±.51 for mothers with an adverse birth event and .83±.56 for mothers with no event; p=.78). For women who received MSS-Plus, having an adverse birth event was associated with persisting depression in the postpartum period (mean scores of 1.20±.0.61 for mothers with an adverse birth event and .93±.52 for mothers without adverse birth event; p=.04). Similar results were seen for depression response rates and functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: MOMCare mitigated the risk of postpartum depressive symptoms and impaired functioning among women of low socioeconomic status who had antenatal depression and who experienced adverse birth events.

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