The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found 56 percent of low-income urban mothers met the criteria of a major or minor depressive disorder at some point between two weeks and 14 months after giving birth,
"This is an unexpected, very high proportion to meet diagnostic criteria for depression," study leader Dr. Linda Chaudron of University of Rochester Medical Center in New York said in a statement. "This may be a group at high risk for depression."
Chaudron and colleagues gave diagnostic interviews to 198 mothers 18 years of age or older whose children were no older than 14 months at a Rochester outpatient pediatric clinic for well-baby visits.
The researchers also tested the accuracy of three depression screening tools physicians routinely use and concluded the tools are highly accurate but cutoff scores may need to be altered to identify depression more accurately among low-income urban mothers.