Introduction: The Comprehensive Child Development Service (CCDS) launched in Hong Kong in 2005 aimed to identify and manage postnatal depression early. Under the CCDS, postnatal women are screened routinely for depression with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the pathway to care for postnatal depression after the implementation of CCDS.
Methods: During the period from July 2008 to December 2008, 114 Chinese women with postnatal depression were recruited from a perinatal out-patient psychiatrist clinic which received referrals from the “CCDS route” and the “conventional route”. The participants were interviewed by a semi-structured questionnaire for their pathway to care, including the duration of untreated depression (DUD) and the carers from whom they sought help for postnatal depression. All the participants were assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale.
Results: Sixty-six percent of the participants were referred to the clinic through the “CCDS route” and 34% through the “conventional route”. As compared with the CCDS referral group, the conventional group had significantly longer DUD (U [N=114]=446.00, P=0.000), higher BDI score (U [N=114]=393.50, P=0.000) and lower GAF score (U [N=114]=462.50, P=0.000).
Discussion: CCDS was found to be associated with the early intervention of postnatal depression.