University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository




Dr. Aviva G. Asnis-Alibozek, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are prevalent in the U.S. and encompass many mental health conditions that adversely impact mothers, infants, partners, and siblings. Despite the prevalence of PMADs, which are highly treatable and preventable, only 16% of women with a positive PMAD screen receive treatment, and outcomes rarely improve. Evidence-based treatment is accessible for clinicians, but PMADs remain gravely under-treated and under-diagnosed. A comprehensive treatment approach involves clinicians implementing screening, evaluation, prompt referrals if indicated, initiation of treatment, and follow-up care to achieve remission. Significant gaps in care remain despite some increased awareness of PMADs and considerable advancements in perinatal mental health. Overall, maternal mental health must effectively blend into obstetric care and other specialties, allowing clinicians to engage with pregnant women to offer care upon identifying a PMAD. These conditions are detectible and remain the number one medical complication related to childbirth, with suicide being one of the three leading causes of maternal death. Routine maternal mental health detection and treatment of pregnant women must be incorporated into regular perinatal care through clinician education, understanding, and increased awareness of perinatal mental health conditions


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