Joanne McGarry, MSPH, is the project coordinator for the Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System at the Utah Department of Health, She received her MSPH from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
Postpartum Depression and Help-Seeking Behavior
Version of Record online: 24 DEC 2010
2009 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 54, Issue 1, pages 50–56, January-February 2009
How to Cite
McGarry, J., Kim, H., Sheng, X., Egger, M. and Baksh, L. (2009), Postpartum Depression and Help-Seeking Behavior. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 54: 50–56. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2008.07.003
- Issue online: 24 DEC 2010
- Version of Record online: 24 DEC 2010
- help-seeking behavior;
- postnatal depression;
- postpartum depression;
- postpartum depression screening
The objective of this analysis was to investigate the demographic differences between women who report postpartum depression symptoms (PPDS) and seek help versus those who report symptoms but who do not seek help, using data from the Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) 2004 dataset. Overall, 14.7% of Utah women reported experiencing PPDS in 2004. Sixty percent of the women who reported having PPDS did not seek help Seeking help for depression during pregnancy was associated with help-seeking behavior postpartum (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.04–0.2). Other factors associated with seeking help included having an infant admitted to the intensive care unit (aOR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2–0.9) and rural residency (aOR = 0.3; 95% CI, 0.2–0.7). Nonwhite women were 12.1 times (95% CI, 3.0–48.5) more likely to not seek help for depression compared to white women. Further, Hispanic women (aOR = 3.2; 95% CI, 1.3–8.1) and women who experienced emotional abuse had increased odds of not seeking help (aOR = 2.9; 95% CI, 1.3–6.2). Nearly 15% of Utah women in this study reported PPDS, yet fewer than half sought help. Target populations, such as nonwhite, Hispanic, emotionally abused, and urban women, have been identified for public health interventions.