Ethnicity and Postpartum Depression

Betsy Sleath, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

The project will involve recruiting a sample of 75 women at the Alamance county health department (25 Hispanic, 25 African American, and 25 white) at their second trimester visits (preferably the fifth month) and using the interviewer-administered version of the Beck Depression Inventory, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, self esteem, hopefulness, positive well-being, and social support instruments. We will do face-to-face interviews with all women because of potential literacy problems. We will use standard follow-up methods to enhance our ability to retain these women in the study until their postpartum visit, at which time we will administer the same instruments. The goals of the project are the following: (1) to determine the ethnicity-specific attrition rates, between the second trimester and postpartum visit, (2) to examine differences among the three ethnic groups in discussing mental health issues with their providers, (3) to assess whether the timing of instrument administration (before vs. after the clinician visit) will influence whether women report discussing mental health issues with their physicians, (4) to describe what Hispanic, African American, and white women perceive as the main barriers to discussing their mental health with their health care providers and/or family or friends, and (5) to elicit information on the types of treatment that Hispanic, African American, and white women prefer for postpartum depression. The findings from the pilot project will be used in a R01 grant application that will be submitted to the National Institute of Mental Health.