Perinatal depression affects 8.5–20% of women. In a systematic review 22% of women with a positive depression screen use mental health services. The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of on-site management in the perinatal setting and barriers to care.
This is a retrospective chart review of 1042 women who received perinatal care between 1 January to 31 December 2019. Primary outcome was percentage of patients who were assessed after a positive depression screen. The secondary outcome was to determine factors affecting patients’ receptiveness to assessment/treatment.
9.52% of women screened positive. Sixty-two (63.9%) met with an on-site social worker for assessment, 6 (6.2%) misunderstood the screening questions, and 33 (34.0%) met criteria for depression. Of those, 9 (27.3%) attended at least one follow-up, 8 (24.2%) were referred to or already in care, 7 (21.2%) no-showed, and 9 (27.3%) declined further care. English speaking patients were more likely to meet with a social worker for diagnostic assessment (69.9% versus 45.8%, P = 0.033).
On-site management of a positive depression screen yielded a follow-up rate of 64% versus 49% in other studies. Non-English language may be a barrier to accessing mental health car.