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?
One in seven mothers have perinatal depression at some point in their lives. This type of depression occurs before or after giving birth. Treatment is available, but many people don’t receive it. Providers who treat patients during and after pregnancy, such as obstetricians, may be able to check patients’ mental health needs and refer them to care. But often these providers don’t have the training or resources to do so.
In this study, the research team is comparing three statewide programs to help providers improve access to mental health care for pregnant and postpartum patients.
Who can this research help?
Results may help perinatal mental health programs when considering ways to train providers to diagnose and treat perinatal depression.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is comparing three statewide programs that offer one or more of the following:
- Training that teaches obstetric providers to diagnose and treat perinatal depression.
- Consultation with mental healthcare providers to support obstetric providers in diagnosing and treating perinatal depression.
- Resources and referrals that offer patients information on perinatal depression or referrals to local mental healthcare providers.
The New Jersey program includes resources and referrals for patients. The Washington State program includes training and consultation for providers. The Massachusetts program includes training and consultation and resources and referrals for providers. The research team wants to learn how well these services help increase access to mental health care.
The research team is looking at insurance claims to see if patients get follow-up care and treatment for depression after the programs begin.
Groups that support mental health for pregnant or postpartum patients and patients who have experience with perinatal depression are helping to plan and conduct this study.
Research methods at a glance
|Population||An estimated 6,000 women with perinatal depression, receiving Medicaid, and living in Washington State, New Jersey, or Massachusetts|
Primary: access to mental health care (any outpatient mental health service use, any use of psychotherapy any prescription for an antidepressant)
Secondary: receipt of follow-up care within 30 days of depression screening, psychiatric emergency department visits, psychiatric hospitalizations, recommended dosage for antidepressants, psychotropic polypharmacy
|Up to 42-month follow-up for primary outcome|
This study received additional funding in 2020 to quickly initiate new research related to COVID-19. The additional research is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page once the results are final.
COVID-19 has increased mood and anxiety disorders during and after pregnancy. It has also changed the delivery of health care. In response, Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs have created new approaches to help providers manage mood and anxiety disorders during and after pregnancy. With this enhancement, the research team will:
- Learn what affects the ability to identify and treat mood and anxiety disorders during and after pregnancy;
- Collect and sort the new approaches used by Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs across the nation; and
- Assess the feasibility and relevance of the approaches based on input from patients, providers, and community partners.
Enhancement Award Amount: $496,097