Strategies for improving perinatal depression treatment in North American outpatient obstetric settings

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Depression, Postpartum; Perinatal Care


Mental and Social Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Women's Health


Objective: To identify core barriers and facilitators to addressing perinatal depression and review clinical, programmatic, and system level interventions that may optimize perinatal depression treatment.

Method: Eighty-four MEDLINE/PubMed searches were conducted using the terms perinatal depression, postpartum depression, antenatal depression, and prenatal depression in association with 21 other terms. Of 7768 papers yielded in the search, we identified 49 papers on barriers and facilitators, and 17 papers on interventions in obstetric settings aimed to engage women and/or providers in treatment.

Results: Barriers include stigma, lack of obstetric provider training, lack of resources and limited access to mental health treatment. Facilitators include validating and empowering women during interactions with health care providers, obstetric provider and staff training, standardized screening and referral processes, and improved mental health resources.

Conclusion: Specific clinical, program, and system level changes are recommended to help change the culture of obstetric care settings to optimize depression treatment.

DOI of Published Version



Nancy Byatt, Tiffany A. Moore Simas, Rebecca S. Lundquist, Julia V. Johnson, and Douglas M. Ziedonis. Strategies for improving perinatal depression treatment in North American outpatient obstetric settings. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology 2012 33:4, 143-161. DOI 10.3109/0167482X.2012.728649. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology