Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UI study: low-income women more likely to suffer from postpartum depression

21.02.2008
Poor women in Iowa are much more likely to suffer from postpartum depression than their wealthier counterparts, a new University of Iowa study shows.

In the study of 4,332 new mothers from four Iowa counties, UI psychologist Lisa Segre found that 40 percent of Iowa mothers with a household income less than $20,000 suffered from clinically significant postpartum depression. In contrast, only 13 percent of new mothers with a household income of $80,000 or more were considered clinically depressed.

The study was recently published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. The mothers completed the Inventory to Diagnose Depression and sociodemographic interviews in the late 1990s; on average, participants had given birth 4.6 months prior to the survey.

"Forty percent of Iowa's lowest-income mothers are facing the double burden of being depressed and being poor," said Segre, adjunct assistant professor and research scientist in psychology, a department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"Women who are poor already have a lot of stress, ranging from poor living conditions to concerns about paying the bills. The birth of an infant can represent additional financial and emotional stress, and depression negatively impacts the woman's ability to cope with these already difficult circumstances."

In a second study on race and postpartum emotions in Iowa, Segre found that African-American mothers are more likely than white mothers to experience depressed moods immediately after giving birth, but Latina mothers are less likely to experience depressed moods.

The data came from the Iowa Barriers to Prenatal Care Project Survey, a project funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health and directed by Mary Losch at the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Social and Behavioral Research. The survey, given to mothers in the maternity wards of Iowa hospitals, asks whether they felt sad or miserable much of the time over the previous two weeks. The study, which included responses from 26,877 English-speaking mothers who completed the survey in 2001-02, was published in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology.

Segre explained: "Other research indicates that strong social support can serve as a buffer against postpartum depression, and that poor social support is a major predictor of postpartum depression. Past studies have also shown that Latina mothers tend to have more social support, while African-American women tend to have weaker support networks." Segre speculates that these ethnic differences in social support might account for racial differences in the rate of depressed moods during the postpartum period.

Considered together, the results of both studies highlight the increased risk of postpartum depression among low-income and African-American women, and the need for early identification programs. Segre and UI Psychology Professor Michael O'Hara, a co-author of the studies, are therefore taking their research to the next logical step by working to help mothers suffering from postpartum depression.

The professors partnered with Healthy Start in Des Moines -- a federally funded program that educates and supports families in areas with infant mortality rates above the national average -- to teach caseworkers and nurses to screen new mothers for depression. After Healthy Start began screening, social service agencies across the state wanted the professors' help implementing a screening process. In two years, Segre and O'Hara have trained 31 representatives to screen new mothers for depression; in turn, the representatives trained dozens more at their agencies.

Understanding that screening for depression is only the first step toward helping the mothers, Segre and O'Hara are also implementing and evaluating a new intervention for depressed mothers participating in the Des Moines Healthy Start program: "listening visits." The visits give mildly to moderately depressed mothers an opportunity to talk through problems with a caseworker or nurse. Modeled after the United Kingdom's "health visitors," the intervention allows mothers to work collaboratively with a professional they already know and trust, removing barriers to mental health treatment like cost, waiting lists, stigma or lack of providers, Segre said.

"A listening visitor is not a trained psychologist, but sometimes just having someone take the time to sit down and take a keen interest in what's going on with your life is enough," Segre said. "I'm not saying the listening visits are the cure-all, but for mild to moderate depression, they're a good start. And even if women need more treatment beyond the listening visits, our hope is that the listening visits will serve as an ice-breaker, helping women feel more comfortable with the idea of mental health treatment."

In 2005, a British health visitor came to Iowa to teach Healthy Start staff to conduct listening visits. The staff is making more and more use of the visits, Segre said. "It's a big change from not providing any mental health care, to providing screening and referral, and then to also providing in-home listening visits," she said. "It takes a while to feel comfortable doing that."

Segre recently received a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of listening visits in the United States. She will travel to Des Moines to interview participating mothers from Healthy Start before and after their listening visits.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

Nicole Riehl | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>