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Stigma and Postpartum Depression Treatment Acceptability Among Black and White Women in the First Six-Months Postpartum

Abstract

Objective To measure stigma associated with four types of postpartum depression therapies and to estimate the association between stigma and the acceptance of these therapies for black and white postpartum mothers. Methods Using data from two postpartum depression randomized trials, this study included 481 black and white women who gave birth in a large urban hospital and answered a series of questions at 6-months postpartum. Survey items included socio demographic and clinical factors, attitudes about postpartum depression therapies and stigma. The associations between race, stigma, and treatment acceptability were examined using bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results Black postpartum mothers were less likely than whites to accept prescription medication (64 vs. 81%, p = 0.0001) and mental health counseling (87 vs. 93%, p = 0.001) and more likely to accept spiritual counseling (70 vs. 52%, p = 0.0002). Women who endorsed stigma about receipt of postpartum depression therapies versus those who did not were less likely to accept prescription medication, mental health and spiritual counseling for postpartum depression. Overall black mothers were less likely to report stigma associated with postpartum depression therapies. In adjusted models, black women versus white women remained less likely to accept prescription medication for postpartum depression (OR = 0.42, 95% CI 0.24–0.72) and stigma did not explain this difference. Conclusions Although treatment stigma is associated with lower postpartum depression treatment acceptance, stigma does not explain the lower levels of postpartum depression treatment acceptance among black women. More research is needed to understand treatment barriers for postpartum depression, especially among black women.

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Acknowledgements

Supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (5R01MH77683-2) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (5P60MD000270-10) https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01312883 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00951717.

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Correspondence to Susan Bodnar-Deren.

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Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 5 and 6.

Table 5 Summary of bivariate analyses of system factors by insurance status among black women. MADE-IT (2009–2010) N = 140
Table 6 Stigma item endorsement for each of the four depression treatments with expansion of social circle

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Bodnar-Deren, S., Benn, E.K.T., Balbierz, A. et al. Stigma and Postpartum Depression Treatment Acceptability Among Black and White Women in the First Six-Months Postpartum. Matern Child Health J 21, 1457–1468 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-017-2263-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-017-2263-6

Keywords

  • Postpartum depression
  • Stigma
  • Postpartum depression treatment acceptability
  • Maternal mental health
  • Race