This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
Depression is a health problem that makes people feel sad, hopeless, or empty most days. Pregnant women and new mothers may have depression and not know it. Having depression during or after pregnancy may make it hard for women to take care of themselves and their babies.
This study is comparing two ways to help pregnant women and new mothers who have symptoms of depression get the care they need. One way is to refer women to mental health care services. Another way is to help women learn ways to change patterns of thinking during office visits.
Who can this research help?
Information from this study can help pregnant women or new mothers and their doctors choose how and where to get treatment for depression. Health clinics can use this information to plan services to help pregnant women and new mothers with depression.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is recruiting 230 women who have Medicaid coverage and are pregnant or who have a child who is 18 months old or younger. Participants must be 18 years old or older and show symptoms of depression on a survey designed for new mothers. The team is assigning patients to one of two groups by chance.
In the first group, clinic staff meet with women to talk about the results of their depression symptoms survey. Clinic staff also talk about treatment options and connect patients to mental health care outside of the clinic. In the second group, clinic staff meet with patients six times to help them learn how to solve problems and change how they think or behave. This new way of thinking and behaving may help reduce symptoms of depression. If depression symptoms continue, clinic staff connect these patients with further mental health services outside of the clinic.
Women fill out surveys every two months for one year. The surveys track
- Number and severity of depression symptoms
- Knowledge, skill, and confidence about self-care
- Ability to cope with life challenges
- Parenting stress
- Use of mental health services
- Children’s behavioral and emotional health
Women who have experienced depression after the birth of their child are working with the research team to plan the study.
Research methods at a glance
Other Clinical Interventions
Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions