Earlier this week, I wrote about UK researchers concluding that Postpartum Depression screening was just not cost effective.
Since then, a couple of other studies regarding screening for other conditions have been released.
It seems that screening for Diabetes in primary care qualifies as cost-effective.
And screening for Breast Cancer saves lives despite the habitual over-diagnosis. For every misdiagnosed case, two lives are saved. In fact, the researchers for this study state that approximately 6 women are misdiagnosed and undergo unnecessary treatment for cancer they may never have developed as a result of a false positive at the screening level. In case you were wondering, these researchers are UK based as well.
The researchers from the UK cited over-diagnosis as one of the reasons formal screening for Postpartum Depression was not cost effective.
And being misdiagnosed with Postpartum Depression does not lead to expensive radiation treatment or other damaging exposures including surgery. At very worst, you may receive a script for an anti-depressant or a referral to a counselor for some talk therapy.
So lemme get this straight.
Pumping a woman full of radiation and chemotherapy is hunky dory and cost effective EVEN if she doesn’t need it.
But a quick questionnaire to check on mom’s mental health is NOT?
On what planet does this even BEGIN to make sense??
Let’s also discuss this little nugget. For both the Diabetes and Breast Cancer studies, ACTUAL records were used. The Postpartum Study was compromised of 92 “hypothetical” cases.
When did we stop rating the study of actual records? When did researchers stop including the actual risks and ripples of Postpartum Depression? A woman without Postpartum Depression or who is successfully diagnosed, treated, and recovering is more likely to breastfeed in my opinion. And if she’s nursing, she’s protecting herself and her child from – guess what – Diabetes AND Cancer.
So you really want to practice cost-effective healthcare?
SCREEN women after birth. Ensure their stability, support, and positive outcome with life as a new mom. Encourage them to participate in health practices for themselves and their children. Enabling women to make healthier choices reduces the risk of other issues down the road. Screening saves lives when it comes to Postpartum Mood Disorders. It saves mothers, children, and families. It’s not something you skip over because it’s simply not “cost-effective.” Skip screening and cost will simply shift elsewhere – to diabetes care, cancer care, future mental health care for mom or kids, broken families, etc.
It is simply not acceptable to allow new mothers to continue to suffer. Not acceptable at all.