ARHP is sponsoring The Reproductive Health Implications of Depression, an education program for health care providers. The goal of this program is to expand providers’ knowledge about symptoms of depression, including risk factorsand presentations that are unique to women, as well as effective methods for screening, diagnosing, and treating patients. In addition, the program will improve providers’ competence to identify women at risk for or already suffering from depression; appropriately diagnose, counsel, and treat symptomatic patients; and effectively address women’s reproductive health issues that are impacted by or related to depression (i.e., contraception, STI prevention, PMDD, PPD).
For more information about the program, please contact Delysha D’Mellow Henry at email@example.com or (202) 466-3825.
An estimated one in five women will experience depression in her lifetime, at a rate of 2:1 over men . The prevalence of depression is highest among women of childbearing age, putting women at unique risk for numerous adverse health outcomes related to reproductive and sexual health.
- Hormonal Contraceptive Use—Oral contraceptive pills, vaginal rings, subdermal implants, and injections are highly effective contraceptive options, and are used most often by the 42 million US women seeking to prevent pregnancy, but they can contribute to or exacerbate depressive symptoms for some women.
- Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes—Women suffering from depression are less likely to use contraception consistently or at all, putting them at increased risk for unintended pregnancy and complications such as preterm birth, low birthweight, and birth defects.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections—Women with depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, resulting in greater exposure to STIs and HIV.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder—Up to 8 percent of menstruating women experience the debilitating symptoms of PMDD every month.
- Postpartum Depression—As many as one in five pregnant women experiences depression in the year after childbirth, with significant impacts on maternal and child health.
Although there are several reasons why patients don’t ask their PCP about treatment for depression, including fear of stigma and the belief that PCPs won’t be able to help, most patients who do seek help for their symptoms will visit their PCP instead of a mental health professional. In fact, depression is the second most common condition seen in primary care—yet more than half of women presenting with symptoms go undiagnosed by their PCP and therefore remain untreated. Given the significant ways that depression impacts more than 12 million US women each year, it is imperative that PCPs are able to identify, diagnose, counsel women about, and offer effective treatments.
Program Design and Educational Activities
- An accredited Power point slide set with talking points
- 1 live visiting faculty session at Reproductive Health 2011 and 2 virtual conference (archived)
- Integration of content into the Curricula Organizer for Reproductive Health Education (CORE), ARHP’s on-line, open-access collection of peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching materials
Curriculum Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of the medical education sessions, participants will be able to:
- Expand providers’ knowledge about symptoms of depression, including risk factors and presentations that are unique to women, as well as effective methods for screening, diagnosing, and treating patients.
- Improve providers’ competence to identify women at risk for or already suffering from depression; appropriately diagnose, counsel, and treat symptomatic patients; and effectively address women’s reproductive health issues that are impacted by or related to depression (i.e., contraception, STI prevention, PMDD, PPD).
Intended Audience and Accreditation
This program includes educational offerings for women’s health and primary care providers and educators (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and educators in ob/gyn, family medicine, internal medicine, and related fields).
The live session and virtual conference associated with this program will be accredited for continuing medical education and nursing contact hours.
This project is funded through an educational grant from Pfizer.