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Screening mothers and fathers for depression after their child’s first birthday in pediatric wards – the current standard practice – can identify families in need of mental health and other important resources, according to a Rutgers study.

“Pediatricians can play an important role in detecting parental depression,” said lead author Ava Marie Hunt, who conducted the study as a student at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and is now an intern in the pediatrics department at Children’s Hospital. from Philadelphia. “However, current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that only pediatric clinicians check on maternal depression in the first year of their baby’s life. This is especially important for parents who do not have regular medical care but attend children. ”

A study published in the journal pediatrics, surveyed parental depression or mood disorder survey in pediatric health facilities after a the childfirst birthday. Parental depression affects about every fifth US families. Mothers with depression are at increased risk of insecure attachment to their children and abusive parental behavior. In addition, maternal depression has been associated with cognitive, behavioral and physical health.

In the Rutgers study, researchers reviewed 41 studies involving more than 32,700 parents and caregivers of children over 12 months of age; on average, studies showed that 25 percent of parents received a positive result depressive symptoms. The researchers found that structured screening programs outside the postpartum period in childhood are rare, although many parents have tested positive for depressive symptoms. In many cases, parents who tested positive for depressive symptoms did not receive appropriate referrals and were not observed, according to the study.

“Although clinicians recognize the importance of screening for depression, many feel uncomfortable and do not get tested,” said senior author Manuel E. Jimenez, an associate professor of pediatrics and family medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Rutgers Medical School.

“Those who are filming depression they often rely on observation rather than the use of proven screening tools, and often ignore parents, ”added co-author Sally Porter, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing.

The results indicate an increase in the survey on parental depression in a wider age range and in a wider range of clinical settings has the potential to identify families in need of resources. Additional research is needed to identify Best practices According to the study, to link parents who test for positive depressive symptoms with services and establish a protocol for follow-up.

Neil Utirasami, a research fellow at Robert Wood Johnson Rutgers Medical School, was a co-author of the study.

Depression in the fathers of premature babies deserves more attention

Additional information:
Screening for parental depression in pediatric facilities: a review of volume, Pediatrics (2022).

Citation: Screening for postpartum parental depression can identify families in need of support (June 28, 2022, June 28), obtained June 28, 2022 from parental-depression-screening-postpartum-period .html

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