NICU Babies’ Parents at Risk For Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Karen Fratantoni, M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician and lead study author Children’s National Health System

Dr. Fratantoni

Karen Fratantoni, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatrician and lead study author
Children’s National Health System

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We looked at the prevalence of depressive symptoms at NICU discharge and at six months after discharge among 125 parents randomized to the control group of a larger PCORI-funded trial of peer-to-peer support after NICU discharge. Determining factors associated with parental depressive symptoms at NICU discharge may help to identify at-risk parents who could benefit from mental health support.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response:  Forty percent of parents in this analysis had depressive symptoms at NICU discharge, measured by an elevated score on the CES-D. At six months, 14 percent of parents had depressive symptoms. Of those who screened positive at NICU discharge, continued elevation in depressive scores at six months was associated with preterm infants at 32-36 weeks gestation, younger parental age, lower levels of education and single relationship status.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: NICU parents are at risk for symptoms of depression. NICU parents should be screened for depression and offered mental health supports. We need to help parents so that they can care for their infants. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: This is a part of a larger PCORI-funded trial of peer-to-peer support after NICU discharge and its potential impact on parental mental health.  We are currently analyzing the data from that trial and should have some preliminary data soon.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Research reported in this work was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Award (IHS-1403-11567).  The statements presented in this work are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of PCORI, its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee. 

Citation:

Pediatric Academic Societies 2018 annual meeting presentation:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
*”Depression symptoms in neonatal intensive care unit parents six months after discharge.”
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.(ET)

Karen Fratantoni, M.D., M.P.H., Children’s pediatrician; Lisa Tuchman, M.D., chief, Children’s Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Division; Randi Streisand, Ph.D., Children’s interim chief of Psychology and Behavioral Health; Nicole S. Herrera; Katherine Kritikos, Lamia Soghier, M.D., Children’s neonatologist

 

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