You're listening to Advances in Women's Health on ReachMD. On this episode, we'll hear from Dr. Tiffany Moore Simas, who is the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UMass Chan Medical School. Dr. Moore Simas is here to give us a recap of her poster at the 2023 ACOG Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting, which focused on the mental healthcare disparities that remain after the implementation of a perinatal depression intervention. Let's hear from her now.
Dr. Moore Simas:
At UMass Chan Medical School, we do a lot of work both in our institution and on the state level trying to address perinatal mental health conditions. And as we know, there are a lot of disparities of care inequities of outcomes in medicine for persons who are marginalized by racism and socioeconomic disadvantage. And so in our resident practice at UMass Chan Medical School, we looked at what our rates of each of those components of the mental care pathway were by race and ethnicity. And so we looked at, were there differences in screening, assessment, treatment, following, and monitoring. And what we found was that we, regardless of race and ethnicity, screening rates were similar. And by screening, we were looking at, you know, the recommendations were to screen at the initial OB visit, at 24 to 28 weeks, and at the postpartum visit. And of course, anytime in between that we felt was necessary.
And although we thought we did it universally, the truth of the matter was only about 75 percent of our patients got screened. So that was one learning point is that it is not as universally done as we thought it was. So we have been working to make sure in fact, it truly is universal screening. And then beyond the screening, when somebody was screened positive, we did unfortunately find that there were disparities as it relates to white patients were more likely to be connected with care and treatment for mental health conditions once identified, then are black or Hispanic patients. We did have students who were doing chart abstractions, and who were looking at the these outcomes and looking for these differences. So we don't know why. So for example, we don't know, if our black patients who screened positive and were diagnosed with a mental health condition were offered pharmacotherapy but declined having it they were less likely to have a prescription for it, or if we offered less, and so that some of what we're looking into now is trying to understand the why so we can really address any potential disparities or inequities of care.
That was Dr. Tiffany Moore Simas talking about her poster that was featured at the 2023 ACOG Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting. To access this and other episodes in our series, visit ReachMD.com/AdvancesInWomensHealth, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening!