, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 47-56
Date: 24 Oct 2007

Survey of Characteristics and Treatment Preferences for Physicians Treating Postpartum Depression in the General Medical Setting

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Abstract

This research examines the relationship between the characteristics of physicians who routinely provide medical care for postpartum mothers and their treatment preferences for managing postpartum depression (PPD) by means of a self-administered postal survey. A survey was sent to a random sample of 600 obstetricians/gynecologists and 600 family practitioners in North Carolina. The overall response rate was 42%. Forty-six percent of the responding physicians (N = 228) reported that they had seen women for postpartum visits during the past 3 months. Physician age, gender, race, and practice type were significantly associated with differences in their treatment preferences of PPD. Older physicians and non-white physicians were less likely to prefer treatment of PPD with antidepressants. Older physicians and physicians trained in obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) were less likely to treat PPD with referral to a social worker or psychologist for counseling, but physicians trained in family practice and female physicians were more likely to do so.