Antenatal identification of major depressive disorder: A cohort study

Deirdre J. Lyell, Andrea S. Chambers, Dana Steidtmann, Esther Tsai, Aaron B. Caughey, Amy Wong, Rachel Manber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to estimate the frequency of identification of major depressive disorder by providers during prenatal care. Study Design: A cohort of pregnant women who were participating in a randomized controlled trial and who had received a diagnosis of major depressive disorder was examined. Women were included in the current study if prenatal clinic records were available and legible. Results: Clinical depression was noted in 56% of prenatal charts and on 24% of problem lists. Physicians and certified nurse midwives noted depression equally (P =.935); physicians more frequently noted mental health referral (23% vs 0%; P =.01), and midwives more frequently included depression on the problem list (P =.01). Recent medication use, which was stopped before conception or study participation, predicted notation of depression in the chart (P =.001). Conclusion: Depression frequently is missed during pregnancy and, when identified, is underacknowledged as a problem. Women who have not recently used antidepressant medication are more likely to be missed. Better screening and acknowledgment are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506.e1-506.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • depression
  • major depressive disorder
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal care
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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