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Postpartum Depression And Analysis Of Treatments And Health Determinants

909 words - 4 pages

The objective of this paper is to develop a thorough understanding of treatments available for mothers with postpartum depression and formulate a research question that can provide for future direction.

Postpartum depression is universally recognized as a serious condition affecting 10-15% of women within a year of birth (O’Hara & Swain, 1992). The high prevalence of postpartum depression among mothers makes this an issue worth exploring the type of treatments available. A set of physical and psychological symptoms are associated with this condition that greatly increase the detriment of postpartum depression. These symptoms can be ranked on several designed scales by health care professionals. It is important to understand that even with a high prevalence rate of postpartum depression among women many cases go untreated. (Buist, Barnett, Milgrom, Pope, Condon, Ellwood, Boyce, Austin & Hayes, 2002). An analysis of five studies will introduce the available treatments and the possibility that social support in combination with personal physical maintenance maybe the best treatment for women with minor or moderate postpartum depression.

In the first study Gjerdingen (2002) investigates the various treatments but particularly the pharmacological treatments. Gjerdingen (2002) stresses the importance of administered treatment based on severity of diagnosis, such that healthcare professionals appropriately identify the state of wellbeing of the patient and appropriately respond. As presented in the article, the US Preventive Services Task Force strongly recommends screening for depression to be done through clinical services that have systems insuring proper diagnosis and appropriate interventions. Gjerdingen (2002) identified that the use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale on women postnatal 6 weeks increased the percentage of diagnosis by 7%. By identifying diagnosis women who were unknowingly suffering from this condition may receive the education and health care they need to structure themselves better and improve their domestic relations that maybe a result of depression. Once diagnosis is made Gjerdingen (2002) states that the treatment plan should incorporate patient education on the biology of depression, treatment options, therapeutic adverse events and understanding the need for a social support system.
The aim of Gjerdingen’s (2002) study was to complete a literary quantified analysis of the different interventions and based on statistics determine the most effective form of treatment. Gjerdingen (2002) discusses a form of biological intervention; antidepressant drugs. Assessing several drug trials consisting of the newer Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the older tricyclic antidepressants statistically showed postpartum patients were improving their condition. A concern for the possibility of the drugs such as fluoxetine being found in the infants is evident (Wisner, Perel, Findling, 1996)....

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