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Dads get depressed almost as much as mums

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Research shows close to a quarter of mothers experience prenatal or postnatal depression, but little is known about paternal depression. This small US study of community health clinics in Indiana analysed parent responses from more than 9,500 clinic visits and found 4.4 per cent of fathers screened positive for depression, compared with 5 per cent of mothers. The results suggest paediatric clinics are good places to address depression in a family, the researchers say.

Journal/conference: JAMA Pediatrics

Organisation/s: Indiana University School of Medicine, USA

Media Release

From: JAMA

Fathers screened positive for depression almost as often as mothers during well-child care visits with their young children in a small study at community health care centers in Indianapolis, Indiana. Researchers estimated the frequency of paternal depression using the Child Health Improvement Through Computer Automation (CHICA) system, which administers a tablet-based prescreening form to English- and Spanish-speaking parents in waiting rooms. The study analyzed parent responses from more than 9,500 clinic visits and 4.4 percent of fathers (36) screened positive for depression, which is comparable to the overall proportion of mothers who screened positive (273 or 5.0 percent). The results suggest pediatric clinics are promising places to address depression in a family.

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