, 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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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.