The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence, timing, and co-occurrence of
positive screens for maternal postpartum depression (PPD) and intimate partner violence
(IPV) for women bringing their young infants for pediatric primary care and examine
relationships between PPD, IPV and children's healthcare utilization from birth to 2 years.
Post-partum depression (PPD) and intimate partner violence (IPV) negatively affect the
health and well-being of millions of women each year. In turn, PPD and IPV frequently
compromise women's ability to form a strong mother-infant bond, which potentially impacts
their children's health and well-being. Limited information exists regarding the prevalence
of PPD, IPV, and the co-occurrence of the two. Similarly, empirically tested interventions
designed to improve outcomes for these women and their infants are lacking.
The objective of the research was to assess the prevalence, timing, and co-occurrence of
positive screens for maternal postpartum depression and intimate partner violence and
examine their relationships with children's healthcare utilization from birth to 2 years.
As per routine protocol in the Harriet Lane Clinic (HLC), all mothers bringing their infants
for a well baby visit (birth to 6 month visit) are screened for PPD and IPV using a brief,
self-administered paper-based questionnaire at the start of the visit. Appropriate resource
and referral materials will be provided by a Family Support Counselor (FSC) in the clinic.
Between February and March 2008, mothers bringing newborn, 2-, 4-, or 6-month-old children
to an urban primary care clinic were screened for postpartum depression and intimate partner
violence. A retrospective chart review abstracted demographic data, maternal responses on
the postpartum depression/intimate partner violence screen at the initial and subsequent
visits, and, from the child's birth to second birthday, adherence with well-child care and
use of pediatric acute care and emergency department visits. Descriptive, bivariate, and
multivariate analyses were conducted.
- English-speaking mothers of infants presenting for their newborn, two, four or six
month visits to their primary care provider in the Harriet Lane Clinic