Toolkit Aims At Reducing Number of Women With PPD

Whenever I read about a new program that promises to help educate, screen, and increase awareness of postpartum depression and anxiety, I respond with two emotions. The first is gratitude for seeing a different way to identify women at risk or those already suffering from the illness.

But following close behind is some anxiety that the assistance ends there. If I’m convinced that once identified by the healthcare provider — let’s say an obstetrician, or the woman herself — what happens next? I’d feel a lot better about the latest assessment tool if I could be assured that once diagnosed, the woman would seek treatment by a mental health professional that specializes in perinatal issues.

By specialist I mean a psychologist, social worker, professional counselor, nurse practitioner in mental health, or a psychiatrist, if medication is needed. (Please take note of my underlining in this paragraph because in my mind, appropriate treatment requires care by an individual specifically trained in treating women with the disorder.)

Now that I’ve got my credo out of the way, I’ll tell you a bit more about the new toolkit designed to reduce the number of women with postpartum depression who go undiagnosed. It was described at the American Academy of Physician Assistants Impact 2014 meeting and was a review of the postpartum protocol at Greater Atlanta Women’s Healthcare, an obstetrics/gynecology practice.

As I’ve noted, the proposed standard-of-care toolkit intends to educate patients about PPD and raise their awareness of the condition in hopes of increasing diagnosis and improving health outcomes for obstetrics patients. The toolkit is augmented by an algorithm called “SIG-E-CAPS” to help assess PPD. It includes:
• Evaluate for sleep disturbances
• Interest reduction
• Feelings of guilt and self-blame
• Energy loss and fatigue
• Concentration problems
• Appetite change
• Suicidal thoughts or ideation

So far; so good. Now, once identified, let’s hope the woman at risk, or already suffering, quickly receives appropriate treatment with a specialist in perinatal issues.


~ by ppdsus on May 30, 2014.

One Response to “Toolkit Aims At Reducing Number of Women With PPD”

  1. […] Toolkit Aims At Reducing Number of Women With PPD. […]

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