September 7, 2009
Researchers have sounded a note of caution about the government’s $80 million scheme to introduce routine screening for depression for all pregnant women.
Writing in the MJA (191: 276-79 ) today, researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne warn that the screening tools are imperfect and there is a risk of focusing too much on providing interventions such as antidepressants and CBT rather than exploring broader psychosocial issues such as partner violence, co-morbid health problems and housing.
The National Perinatal Depression Plan announced in the recent budget proposes to introduce routine screening during pregnancy and after birth. But the researchers say there is little evidence to support such interventions, with screening tools producing high rates of false positives and negatives for depression.
They say screening has potential to do harm, with many women being upset at being labeled as having a mental health problem and reluctant to discuss mental health issues with antenatal care providers.
Read entire article: http://www.6minutes.com.au/articles/z1/view.asp?id=497263
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