Regular enquiry about well-being rather than universal screening to detect depression in pregnancy and after birth

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Regular enquiry about well-being rather than universal screening to detect depression in pregnancy and after birth

Regular enquiry about well-being rather than universal screening to detect depression in pregnancy and after birth  

 

New guideline

How do you detect depression in pregnant and postpartum patients? Rather than using a screening tool and cutoff score with all pregnant and postpartum patients, clinicians should ask about well-being as part of usual care, recommends a new guideline from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.

Aimed at primary care providers, the guideline applies to pregnant and post-partum people in the first year after delivery.

“Depression in pregnant and postpartum people is devastating, with a massive burden for families and it’s critical to detect it,”

The guideline, published in CMAJ, is based on a rigorous systematic review of latest evidence that found no benefit of routine screening as well as patient values and preferences.

 

Who is exempt from this recommendation?

  • Pregnant or postpartum people with a history of depression or who are being assessed or treated for other mental disorders.

 

Putting into Practice  

Clinicians should

  • Ask patients how they are feeling and about their well-being during visits
  • Remain vigilant for depression
  • Practice clinical judgment to determine if patients require additional follow-up

Recommendation on instrument-based screening for depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period was published in CMAJ on July 25, 2022.

 

Depression resources

 

Endorsement 

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has endorsed the guideline.

 

 


 

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