Access to Adequate Outpatient Depression Care for Mothers in the USA: A Nationally Representative Population-Based Study
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- Witt, W.P., Keller, A., Gottlieb, C. et al. J Behav Health Serv Res (2011) 38: 191. doi:10.1007/s11414-009-9194-y
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Maternal depression is often untreated, resulting in serious consequences for mothers and their children. Factors associated with receipt of adequate treatment for depression were examined in a population-based sample of 2,130 mothers in the USA with depression using data from the 1996–2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Chi-squared analyses were used to evaluate differences in sociodemographic and health characteristics by maternal depression treatment status (none, some, and adequate). Multivariate regression was used to model the odds of receiving some or adequate treatment, compared to none. Results indicated that only 34.8% of mothers in the USA with depression received adequate treatment. Mothers not in the paid workforce and those with health insurance were more likely to receive treatment, while minority mothers and those with less education were less likely to receive treatment. Understanding disparities in receipt of adequate treatment is critical to designing effective interventions, reducing treatment inequities, and ultimately improving the mental health and health of mothers and their families.