Integrating Maternal Mental Health Care in the Pediatric Medical Home: Treatment Engagement and Child Outcomes

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Abstract

Maternal depression is associated with an array of poor child health outcomes, and low-income women face many barriers to accessing treatment. In this pilot study, we assessed treatment engagement in a maternal mental health clinic staffed by a case manager and psychiatrist in an urban pediatric practice. We also examined factors associated with engagement as well as child health outcomes and health care use. Nearly half of the women enrolled attended at least 4 sessions with a psychiatrist in 6 months. Text messaging with the case manager was associated with a greater compliance with psychiatrist sessions. Comparing index children with their siblings prior to enrollment, a higher percentage had immunizations up to date at 1 year of age (82% vs 43%, P = .01), and well-child visit compliance trended toward significance (65% vs 35%, P = .06). The pediatric setting holds promise as an innovative venue to deliver maternal mental health care.

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