HP 2020 Proposes Postpartum Depression Objective

Noting “postpartum depression is a serious condition linked to problems with marital relationships, mother/child bonding, breastfeeding continuity, infant behavior and development, and quality of life among new mothers,” Healthy People 2020 is proposing to add a new maternal and child health objective aimed at addressing this critical health issue. The objective will use the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) to track the proportion of womenhc2020_logo delivering a live birth who exhibit postpartum depressive symptoms. The prevalence of postpartum depression is estimated at 7% to 24%, with the highest prevalence in low income populations. Screening for postpartum depression is a MIECHV benchmark; all home visitors are expected to screen new mothers using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and ensure mothers with symptoms receive appropriate services.

Healthy People 2020 is also proposing a new early and middle childhood objective on children with ADHD who receive appropriate treatment. HHS is accepting comments on the new objectives through November 7th.

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to: 1) Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors, 2)Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions, and 3) Measure the impact of prevention activities. For more information visit Healthy People 2020.