Factors associated with identification and management of maternal depression by pediatricians

Amy M. Heneghan, Linda H. Chaudron, Amy Storfer-Isser, Elyse R. Park, Kelly J. Kelleher, Ruth E.K. Stein, Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood, Karen G. O'Connor, Sarah Mc Cue Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. We sought to identify characteristics of pediatricians that were associated with identification or management (referral and/or treatment) of mothers with depression. METHODS.A cross-sectional survey was mailed to a random sample of 1600 of the 50 818 US nonretired members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Overall, 832 responded, with 745 responses from nontrainee members. The 662 fellow nontrainee members who engaged in direct patient care and completed information on identifying, referring, and treating maternal depression were included in the analyses. RESULTS.A total of 511 of 662 respondents reported identifying maternal depression; of those who reported identifying maternal depression, 421 indicated they referred and 29 that they treated maternal depression in their practices. Pediatricians who are older, work in practices that provide child mental health services, see primarily (≥75%) white patients, use ≥1 method to address maternal depression, agree that pediatricians should be responsible for identifying maternal depression, think that maternal depression has an extreme effect on children's mental health, and are attitudinally more inclined to identify or manage maternal depression had significantly higher odds of reporting identification of maternal depression. Positive correlates of identification and management of maternal depression included practicing in the Midwest, using ≥1 method to address maternal depression, working in a practice that provides child mental health services, thinking that caregiving problems attributable to maternal health have an extreme effect on children's physical health, having attitudes that are more inclined to identify and to manage maternal depression, and usually inquiring about symptoms routinely to identify maternal depression. CONCLUSIONS. Pediatricians' practice characteristics and attitudes are associated with their identification and management of mothers with depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-454
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Maternal depression
  • Pediatrician
  • Practice patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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