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Pediatrician attitudes and practices regarding postpartum depression screening: Training and interprofessional collaboration needed


Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice Volume 15, Number 1, ISSN 2405-4526 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Although research suggest that managing postpartum depression (PPD) is feasible and effective in pediatric settings, it is important to assess pediatricians' attitudes and practices regarding PPD screening and interprofessional collaboration. This paper presents the results of a survey among pediatricians in a large city in the southwest U.S.A 20-item questionnaire was developed to examine pediatricians’ attitudes and practice on PPD screening and interprofessional collaboration.While most pediatricians expressed positive attitudes towards addressing new mothers’ depressive symptoms, only 69 (66.3%) recalled the latest case in which they recognized a mother at risk of PPD. Among the 69 pediatricians, nine (13%) reported that they referred new mothers to on-site mental health professionals (MHPs), and eight of the nine MHPs are social workers. Lack of time (84%) and being unfamiliar with available mental health resources (53.5%) are two major barriers that prevented pediatricians from initiating PPD screening in their practice.Twenty-three pediatricians (22.1%) received PPD training in the past year. Pediatricians with training scored significantly higher on their confidence in assessing PPD (t (36) = 3.218, p = .002) and knowledge of diagnostic criteria of depression (t(45) = 4.108, p < .001). Pediatricians who received training were also more likely to screen new mothers for PPD in practice (Fisher's exact = 7.845, p = .012).Implementation of PPD training will help pediatricians improve the efficiency of screening. Social workers are the main source of on-site MHPs in pediatric settings. We recommend moving towards an interprofessional collaboration and an integrated screening-referral-intervention model where on-site social workers could provide further assessment and interventions after pediatricians’ screening and referral.


Yu, M. & Sampson, M. (2019). Pediatrician attitudes and practices regarding postpartum depression screening: Training and interprofessional collaboration needed. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 15(1), 1-4. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 27, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice on June 3, 2019. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice is a publication of Elsevier.

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