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The Obstetrician–Gynecologist's Role in Detecting, Preventing, and Treating Depression

Bhat, Amritha MD; Reed, Susan D. MD, MPH; Unützer, Jürgen MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001809
Contents: Current Commentary
Cochrane Reviews

Women are at a higher risk for depression than are men, and this risk is especially pronounced at specific reproductive periods of vulnerability: adolescence, pregnancy, postpartum, and the menopausal transition. Obstetrician–gynecologists are often the health care providers who women consult during these vulnerable periods, usually presenting with conditions or complaints other than depression or anxiety. Presenting symptoms are frequently known comorbidities with depression or are risk factors for depression. Thus, by screening for depression and other mood disorders in these critical periods, in addition to screening at routine intervals such as annual examinations, obstetricians and gynecologists can play an important role in early detection, prevention, and treatment of mood disorders and their comorbid conditions. We provide a framework for depression management within busy obstetric gynecology settings using new integrated care models for mental health.

Obstetrician–gynecologists should screen and treat women for depression during routine prevention visits and at vulnerable reproductive stages; new integrated care models are recommended.

Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Corresponding author: Susan D. Reed, MD, MPH, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Epidemiology, Harborview Medical Center, 325 9th Avenue, Box 359865, Seattle, WA 98195; email: reeds@uw.edu.

Dr. Bhat is a postdoctoral fellow in the National Institute of Mental Health 537 T32 MH20021 Psychiatry-Primary Care Fellowship Program Training Grant. This work was partially funded by R01 MH085668.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for authorship.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.