Poster Presentation

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
This presentation is part of : MCH Invited Posters
Increase screening of Latina women for maternal depression to identify needs for expanded community services
Bonnie J. Copland, RN, MSN, San Diego County Health and Human Services, San Diego, CA, USA
Learning Objective #1: The learner will be able to describe the value of Public Health Nurses screening new mothers for maternal depression.
Learning Objective #2: The learner will be able to desribe the need for increased community services to assist Latina women suffering from maternal depression.

In San Diego County some Latina mothers are more likely to experience maternal depression (MD) and less likely to receive help in the community they live in. Maternal depression is a Public Health problem. Studies suggest one out of 7 new mothers (14.5 %) experience depressive episodes that impair maternal role function. Mothers experiencing MD are less able to interact positively with their infants. Local community clinics commonly use the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) to screen and identify women experiencing MD. Our Public Health Nurses have been reluctant to screen with the EPDS due to lack of services they might refer to. The STT Leadership project was to find help for the nurses, so that they could help their patients. After receiving IRB approval, in September 2006, a focus group of Latina women was facilitated at a local community clinic. Discussion questions included perception of MD as a problem that affects families, as well as where one might expect to go to receive help. Two Spanish versions of the EPDS were also tested to see which seemed more acceptable. Chart extractions from this same clinic were reviewed for data re: birth place, ethnicity and EPDS scores. 28 out of 180 Latina EPDS reviewed had scores of 11 or greater indicating depression. This is similar to studies stating one in seven mothers experience MD. Throughout the duration of this project there has been increased communication between the Public Health Center, community agencies and the Health and Human Services Behavioral Health. All recognize the need for increased services for Latina women suffering from maternal depression. Through the work of this project, referral sources for Public Health Nurses are being identified. The heightened awareness for the PHNs has made them more willing to screen and refer. Public Health Nurses are well positioned to administer the EPDS when they visit new mothers in their homes. When mothers are depressed, infants suffer from decreased attachment and decreased cognitive development. Children, families and communities benefit when Maternal Depression is identified and mothers receive help.