Screening and Treatment Enhancement for Postpartum Depression in the MGB System

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects roughly 15% of women after the birth of a child, impacting not only the mother, but also the infant and family. To facilitate early detection of PPD, universal screening for postpartum depression with an evidence-based tool has been recommended. Building from the Center’s previous research on PPD screening, STEPS for PPD (Screening and Treatment Enhancement for Postpartum Depression), funded by the Marriott Foundation, is dedicated to furthering our understanding of systems for screening, referral and treatment of PPD. This is a joint investigation between the Center for Women’s Mental Health and multiple Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology across Massachusetts General Brigham (MGB). This study seeks to ensure that MGB patients are universally screened for postpartum depression and, if they do screen positive, are referred to receive adequate care and treatment of symptoms. The knowledge gained from this study will illuminate factors associated with utilization of treatment services for postpartum depression and can inform how best to increase access and uptake of services for future patients.

With the support of the STEPS for PPD study, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital is hiring additional perinatal social work support. Interested candidates can view the job posting and apply here.

Read staff biographies here

This study is funded by the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation


Vanderkruik, R., Freeman, M. P., Nonacs, R., Jellinek, M., Gaw, M. L., Clifford, C. A., Bartels, S., & Cohen, L. S. (2023). To screen or not to screen: Are we asking the right question? In response to considering de-implementation of universal perinatal depression screeningGeneral hospital psychiatry, 83, 81–85.