Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)

Saturday, January 19, 2008: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Palladian Ballroom (Omni Shoreham)
[MH] Understanding the Nature and Treatment of Perinatal Depression: Expanding Research Knowledge to Families, Culture, and Community
Symposium Organizer:Sarah E. Bledsoe, PhD, MSW, MPhil, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Discussant (Optional):Sarah Kye Price, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University
Adolescent Perinatal Depression: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Existing Intervention Studies
Sarah E. Bledsoe, PhD, MSW, MPhil, Melike Warrick, MSW
Community Informed Screening for Perinatal Depression: Relevance, Rigor, and Responsiveness
Sarah Kye Price, PhD
Culturally Relevant Psychotherapy for Perinatal Depression: Results of a Randomized Pilot Study
Nancy K. Grote, PhD, Holly A. Swartz, MD, Sharon L. Geibel, MSW, Ellen Frank, PhD
Depression in Young Mothers and Links to Parenting Representations and Behavior
Sydney Hans, PhD, Linda G. Henson, MA, Matthew J. Thullen, MS
Estimated Effects of Family Structure on New Birth Mothers' Mental Health: an Examination of Postpartum Depression in a Nationally Representative Sample
Jennifer I. Manuel, LMSW, Jennifer L. Bellamy, PhD, Sarah E. Bledsoe, PhD, MSW, MPhil, Melissa Martinson, MSW
Abstract Text:
Theme and Importance. Considerable evidence shows that perinatal depression is a serious public heath problem for women, infants, and families. Evidence suggests that depression during pregnancy is the most powerful predictor of postpartum depression, a disorder that is experienced by approximately 10% of women. Depression during pregnancy affects 13.5% of middle income women and higher rates (26%) have been identified in low-income, urban women. Perinatal depression has harmful, lasting effects on infant and child well-being, on the mothers' and fathers' subsequent mental health, and on the quality of the couple's relationship and results in adverse outcomes for mother and fetus/infant well-being. Increased levels of anxiety and stress associated with prenatal depression predict dysregulation of HPA axis in the fetus, low birth weight, and prematurity. Infants of mothers depressed during pregnancy exhibit substandard neuromotor performance and dysregulation in behavior, physiology, and biochemistry. While women are not more vulnerable to depression during the perinatal period than at other points in the life span, this period may be critical because of the risk posed to the fetus/infant, mother, and other family members. Furthermore, pregnancy is known to be an opportune time for suggesting health interventions as women may be unusually open to interventions directed at improving their own mental health before the birth of their child. Designing effective social work assessments and interventions tailored to the needs of women at risk for perinatal depression is critical. In order to design successful assessments and interventions for the prevention and treatment of perinatal depression, it is imperative that researchers and practitioners identify not only the risk factors that render women vulnerable to developing perinatal depression, but also the resilience factors that confer protection against the emergence of this condition. Social work researchers are in a unique position to expand core knowledge regarding perinatal depression through our expertise and focus on family, culture, and community factors in both assessment and treatment. This symposium aims to bring together social work researches from across the United States to present current research in the area of perinatal depression related to assessment, intervention, and risk and protective factors. This research includes evidence on advances in community informed perinatal depression screening in health care settings, results of a randomized controlled trial of a perinatal depression intervention testing culturally relevant psychotherapy, meta-analytic findings of existing interventions for adolescent mothers with perinatal depression, an examination of protective factors using propensity score matching in a nationally representative sample of new birth mothers, and findings on the adverse relationship between depression and parenting behaviors in new mothers. In order to recognize and alleviate perinatal depression, it is imperative that doctors, clinicians, and social workers be provided with evidence regarding the risk and protective factors, assessments and interventions for perinatal depression on which to base culturally competent best practice decisions. Well informed interventions that identify and reduce perinatal depression may offer protective advantages for women, the fetus/infant, as well as her family and social support systems.

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See more of Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)