Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Screening Tool

Purpose

This project aims to develop a brief, evidence-based, comprehensive screening tool for the spectrum of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) that is rigorously validated for repeated use during pregnancy and postpartum in a nationally representative sample. Early identification of maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum is crucial to the prevention and treatment of PMADs, and in turn, the promotion of family health and resilience. However, the screening tools most commonly used during the perinatal period are limited. 

Importance

During pregnancy, PMADs such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and psychosis affect up to half a million U.S. mothers and their families annually.​

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  • Women with PMADs are an under-recognized and underserved population facing significant health problems that put them and their infants at risk for psychological and developmental difficulties. ​
     

  • PMADs and suicide are the leading medical complication related to childbirth.​
     

  • If left untreated, PMADs can affect attachment and bonding, infant physical health, and long-term cognitive, behavioral, and emotional health of children.​
     

  • If symptoms are detected early, mothers can receive the appropriate treatment and support to reduce suffering and promote family health and well-being.

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