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Clinical Approach to Mental Health Issues Among Obstetrician–Gynecologists: A Review

Coleman, Victoria H. MA*†; Morgan, Maria A. PhD; Zinberg, Stanley MD, MS, FACOG; Schulkin, Jay PhD§

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey: January 2006 - Volume 61 - Issue 1 - p 51-58
doi: 10.1097/01.ogx.0000193877.72966.63
CME Program: CATEGORY 1 CME REVIEW ARTICLES 1, 2, AND 3: CME Review Article 2

In recent years, obstetrician–gynecologists have taken on a greater role in the provision of primary care. Mental health has been a topic worthy of further exploration as a result of the high prevalence rates of women presenting in gynecologic settings with depressive, anxiety, or eating-disordered symptoms. The detrimental effects of psychopathology have been well documented in the literature, especially if present during pregnancy. This article provides a review of the literature in the area of clinical practice related to mental health among obstetrician–gynecologists based on searches of the PsycInfo and MEDLINE databases. Lack of recognition and underdiagnosis are common problems that need to be addressed by focused educational initiatives.

Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians

Learning Objectives: After completion of this article, the reader should be able to recall the importance of screening for various types of mental disease during an ob/gyn visit; describe the detrimental effects of psychopathology, especially during pregnancy; and explain the importance of educational initiatives in detecting and treating mental disorders.

*Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology, American University, Washington, DC; and †Research Associate, ‡Vice President for Practice Activities, and §Director of Research, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC

Chief Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of continuing education activities in this Journal through which a total of 36 AMA/PRA category 1 credit hours can be earned in 2006. Instructions for how CME credits can be earned appear on the last page of the Table of Contents.

The authors have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with or interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.

Wolters Kluwer Health has identified and resolved all faculty conflicts of interest regarding this educational activity.

Reprint requests to: Victoria H. Coleman, MA, Research Associate, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 409 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. E-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.