Careful What You Read About PPD…

A recent study by Schanie, Pinto-Foltz and Logsdon, in the November 2008 issue of “Issues in Mental Health Nursing” examined the content of popular press magazine articles (47 of them) published between 1998 and 2006 which focused on postpartum depression. The content areas that were analyzed: “etiology, symptoms, treatment resources, and demographic assumptions about readers.”

CONCLUSION: “Popular press magazines contain contradictory information about the definition, prevalence, onset, duration, symptoms, and treatment of postpartum mood disorders. Heath care providers should be proactive in directing childbearing women to factual sources of information on postpartum depression.”

This is not a surprise to those of us who study PPD and find that even within academic circles, definitions, statistics and recommendations vary. The point the study makes is a good one. Consumers and clinicians alike should be prudent when seeking out information on postpartum depression and be alert to contradictory opinions or interpretations.

citation: Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2008 Nov;29(11):1200-16.

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