Presenting Symptoms of Women With Depression in an Obstetrics and Gynecology Setting : Obstetrics & Gynecology

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Original Research

Presenting Symptoms of Women With Depression in an Obstetrics and Gynecology Setting

Cerimele, Joseph M. MD; Vanderlip, Erik R. MD; Croicu, Carmen A. MD; Melville, Jennifer L. MD, MPH; Russo, Joan PhD; Reed, Susan D. MD, MPH; Katon, Wayne MD

Author Information
Obstetrics & Gynecology 122(2 PART 1):p 313-318, August 2013. | DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31829999ee


To describe the presenting symptoms of women with depression in two obstetrics and gynecology clinics, determine depression diagnosis frequency, and examine factors associated with depression diagnosis.


Data were extracted from charts of women screening positive for depression in a clinical trial testing a collaborative care depression intervention. Bivariate and multivariable analyses examined patient factors associated with the diagnosis of depression by an obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn).


Eleven percent of women with depression presented with a psychologic chief complaint but another 30% mentioned psychologic distress. All others noted physical symptoms only or presented for preventive care. Ob-gyns did not identify 60% of women with a depression diagnosis. Depression severity was similar in women who were or were not diagnosed by their ob-gyns. Bivariate analyses showed four factors significantly associated with depression diagnosis: reporting a psychologic symptom as the chief complaint or associated symptom (72% compared with 18.6%, P<.001), younger age (35.5 years compared with 40.8 years, P<.005), being within 12 months postpartum (13.9% compared with 2.8%, P<.005), and a primary care-oriented visit (72% compared with 30%, P<.001). Multivariable analysis showed that reporting a psychologic symptom (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 8.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.15–19.10, P<.001), a primary care oriented visit (adjusted OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.14–5.29, P=.03), and each year of increasing age (adjusted OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93–0.96, P=.02) were significantly associated with a depression diagnosis.


The majority of women with depression presented with physical symptoms; most women with depression were not diagnosed by their ob-gyn, and depression severity was similar in those diagnosed and those not diagnosed.



© 2013 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text Access for Subscribers:

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid