Prevalence of Maternal Depressive Symptoms in Low-Income Hispanic Women
J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(4):418-423
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Maternal depression can have
significant repercussions for the health and well-being of
mothers and children. In primarily white middle-income
populations, approximately 15% of mothers experience depression.
Among ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations, the
prevalence of maternal depression has not been as well
established. However, the highest rates have been observed among
low-income women. Because information about minority, underserved
women is particularly sparse, we utilize data from the San Mateo
County, California, Prenatal to Three project to describe the
prevalence and self-recognition of depressive symptoms among
low-income Hispanic mothers of infants and toddlers.
Method: Telephone interviews of a random sample
of women who received Medicaid and gave birth in San Mateo County
provided our sample of 218 nonpregnant Hispanic mothers. High
levels of depressive symptoms were defined as a score of > = 10
on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). We performed
descriptive analyses and analyses of variance.
Results: Twenty-three percent of mothers
reported high levels of depressive symptoms. Half of them
recognized a need for help with depression.
Conclusions: High levels of maternal depressive
symptoms were prevalent among the Hispanic women on Medicaid, but
only half of the women experiencing these symptoms identified
themselves as needing help with depression.