Depression is a common perinatal occurrence, yet research regarding how early depression can be identified and whether it differs by pregnancy outcome (delivery/abortion) is limited.METHODS:
English- or Spanish-speaking women, aged 15–44, <24 weeks gestation seeking pregnancy testing or abortion care were enrolled in a prospective cohort study from 2014 to 2015. The Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) assessed depression at enrollment and 3 months later. Participants with positive depression screen (EDS ≥13) received mental health referral. Pregnancy outcomes were assessed via phone interviews and medical chart review. Women with miscarriage were excluded from this analysis.RESULTS:
Among 100 participants with complete EDS data, women averaged 26.8 (±6.3) years and 9.3 (±4.6) weeks gestation. Seventy-nine percent presented for walk-in pregnancy testing; 21% for abortion. Participants were culturally diverse: 48.0% Hispanic, 30.6% Black, non-Hispanic, 14.3% White, non-Hispanic and 7.1% multiracial. Most (66%) continued pregnancy, 44% chose abortion. At enrollment, 21% screened positive for depression, and women choosing delivery (17%) were not statistically different from women choosing abortion (29%) (P=.138). At 3-month follow-up, 18% screened positive for depression; no difference was observed between women choosing delivery (14%) compared to abortion (27%) (P=.114). The overall proportion of women with a positive screen for depression remained stable from enrollment to 3-month follow-up (P=.549), and remained stable among women choosing delivery (P=.727) and abortion (P=>.999).CONCLUSION:
Antenatal depression is common amongst women early in pregnancy, whether choosing delivery or abortion. Early screening may provide opportunities for early interventions. Future research should test early interventions.