Researchers Find Inefficiencies Holding Back Postpartum Care

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Many women go through postpartum depression after giving birth, thus the need for vital postpartum care. However, recent research findings suggest that women have been underserved by existing recommended postpartum services.

University of Massachusetts researchers dived into the subject to understand whether existing postpartum care measures provide adequate help. One of the findings observed as part of the research was that healthcare visits lasted 17 minutes on average. The amount of time is not enough to cover postpartum care, which means that mothers do not receive the type of care they desperately need to avoid or deal with postpartum depression.

Kimberley Geissler, one of the researchers in the study, described the research as necessary because it provided a good understanding of what women experience when they go through healthcare visits. She also believes that the research findings will contribute to improvements that will deliver better postpartum care.

The postpartum care data indicates under service

Geissler noted that the pressure to handle more patients is the primary reason for the short postpartum sessions, meaning that the same women do not receive the right medical care type. According to the research findings, screening is an essential part of the process, but only one in every 11 patients go through depression screening.

Dr. Laura Attanasio, another researcher involved in the study, added that there is a need to determine why many women are not screened for postpartum depression. Medicaid coverage was one of the first areas where researchers started to probe. Still, they found that there is not much difference between services offered to women who have private insurance and those with Medicaid coverage.

Researchers also focused on the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data collected from over 20 million visits to postpartum visits between 2009 and 2016. They observed from the data that breast exams, pap tests, pelvic exams, and blood glucose exam were the most commonly recommended tests alongside depression screening.

The researchers compiled data on instances where the patients received postpartum care recommended to them. They found that postpaturm recommendations would be more prevalently issued during blood pressure checkups at 91.1%. Only 8.7% of women going for depression screening received the same recommendation.

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