207114 Shortened inter-pregnancy intervals among adolescent mothers: The influence of maternal depression

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:00 PM

Erica K. Berggren, MD , OB/Gyn, Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC, DC
Erin Conroy , OB/Gyn, Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC, DC
Amy Reed Andrus, MD , OB/Gyn, Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC, DC
Loral Patchen, CNM , Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting, Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC, DC
Robin Gaines Lanzi, PhD, MPH , Center on Health and Education, Georgetown University, Washington DC, DC
Conclusive evidence addressing the ways by which maternal symptoms of depression might serve as a risk factor for shortened inter-pregnancy intervals is not readily accessible. We conducted an examination of differences in mental health and trauma experiences between adolescent mothers who had a subsequent pregnancy with a short inter-pregnancy interval (“SP”; less than 24 months between the birth of the index child and a subsequent pregnancy) and those who did not (no-SP). Based on our earlier published work, we conducted in-depth qualitative chart reviews of all mothers participating in an established parenting program for adolescent mothers in the District of Columbia designed to extend the inter-pregnancy interval (n = 139; 51% African American, 49% Latina; 29 had a subsequent pregnancy within 24 months). Chart reviews included data from the prenatal period (initial obstetric assessment and every 2 weeks from 10 weeks to delivery) and postpartum period (2 weeks, 6 weeks and every 10–12 weeks thereafter). We developed a systematic coding procedure for identifying indicators of poor mental health/trauma experiences as documented in client records. Coding procedure based upon items from BDI, SCL-90-R, Postpartum Depression Scale and Trauma Screening Module. Findings: (1) significantly more indicators of ‘poor mental health' during the prenatal and post-natal period among SP than no-SP (2) depression decreased from prenatal to postnatal for both groups; (3) SP experienced significantly more suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide than no-SP. Recommendations for direct service providers working with adolescents will be presented in terms of public health education and health promotion.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss key indicators of poor mental health among adolescent mothers during the prenatal and postnatal period 2. Discuss practical value for service providers in terms of health promotion and health education as well as program planning and service provision.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Resident in OB/GYN have worked in this area for the past 2 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.