Objective: Pediatricians are in a good position to identify women who struggle with depression, but studies show low rates of pediatrician identification and management. It is likely that pediatricians' management of maternal depression may vary on the basis of their attitudes, but no instrument has been developed to measure these attitudes. We sought to develop a measure of pediatricians' attitudes about managing maternal depression and to identify characteristics associated with pediatricians' attitudes about managing maternal depression. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data provided by 651 practicing, nontrainee pediatricians (response rate 57.5%) surveyed through an American Academy of Pediatrics 2004 Periodic Survey. An exploratory principal components analysis was used to investigate the interrelationships among the attitudinal items. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the adjusted associations between physician and practice characteristics and attitudes. Results: The attitudinal measure consisted of 3 subscales: acknowledging maternal depression, perceptions of mothers' beliefs, and treating maternal depression. Clinical approaches (eg, interest in further education on identifying or treating maternal depression) and training and work characteristics were significantly related to pediatricians' attitudes; patient characteristics (eg, type of insurance and ethnicity/race) were not significantly associated with pediatricians' attitudes. Conclusions: We developed a measure to assess pediatricians' attitudes about managing maternal depression. The findings from this study can be used to develop and assess interventions that improve pediatricians' attitudes about acknowledging maternal depression, perceptions of mothers' beliefs, and treating maternal depression.
- maternal depression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health