Perinatal depression occurs in 12-20% of all pregnancies and can include premature delivery, decreased maternal-child interactions, child behavior problems and, in severe cases, suicide or infanticide. Through Kaiser Permanente of Northern California’s Universal Perinatal Depression Screening Program, all women are screened with a nine-question survey called the PHQ-9 three times during the prenatal period. Each woman’s obstetrician reviews the results and, when depressive symptoms are present, offers treatment and referrals for classes, support groups, individual counseling or prescription medication.
- Screened 98% of pregnant and postpartum women at least once during and after pregnancy, compared to less than 1% prior to implementation
- Increased rate of new depression diagnoses to 12%, compared to 8% prior to implementation
- Provided treatement to 82% of women with severe depression, compared to 5% prior to implementation.
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