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Editorial
February 12, 2019

Implementing the USPSTF Recommendations on Prevention of Perinatal Depression—Opportunities and Challenges

Author Affiliations
  • 1Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(4):467-468. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7729

In a recent issue of JAMA, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians refer pregnant and postpartum (ie, perinatal) persons who are at increased risk for depression to counseling interventions (B recommendation).1 Based on a systematic review of 50 studies,2 the USPSTF “concludes with moderate certainty that providing or referring pregnant or postpartum women at increased risk to counseling interventions has a moderate net benefit in preventing perinatal depression.”1 Women have frequent contact with clinicians during the perinatal period, rendering this a particularly opportune time to identify and treat those at risk for depression. Furthermore, perinatal women may be highly motivated to engage in behaviors that promote both their own and their infants’ well-being. The most important take-home message from the USPSTF recommendation is that perinatal depression is preventable.

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