Implementing Perinatal Depression Screenings in African American Women to Reduce Preterm Births


According to research, 10 to 20% of African American women experience depression during pregnancy which can lead to detrimental effects including, but not limited to, preterm births.9 Preterm births are the leading cause of death in young children and was estimated to be responsible for 1 million deaths in 2015.11 This study aims to decrease preterm births by emphasizing the need for prenatal depression screening. Research objectives include comparing neonatal outcomes for African American women that have been screened to those who have not. The utilization of screenings to assess for depression in African American women during prenatal care resulted in better outcomes for their pregnancy.3 This research finding is vital because 40% of African American women are more likely to experience pregnancy related mortality than any other race, however, implementing screenings can help reduce these numbers.10 Utilizing prenatal tools, such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale, can help reduce not only preterm births, but maternal deaths due to complications in African American women.



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