This study used bivariate and regression-adjusted analyses of participant-level survey and medical data to investigate prevalence of depression among pregnant Medicaid participants, correlates of depression, and the relationship between depression and pregnancy outcomes. The sample included Medicaid participants with a single gestation and valid depression data who were enrolled in Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns 2, a national preterm birth prevention program, from 2013 to 2017 (N = 37,287; 85% of total enrollment). Depression rates in Strong Start were high (27.5%). Depression was associated with being black; having other children, an unplanned pregnancy, or challenges accessing prenatal care; not having a co-resident spouse or partner; and experiencing intimate partner violence. After these and other risk factors were controlled for, depression remained associated with higher rates of preterm birth. Systematic screening and holistic approaches to prenatal care that address depression and associated risks could help reduce rates of preterm birth and other poor pregnancy outcomes.
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