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Highest-Scoring Oral Paper Honored Today

‘Perinatal depression is common, under-recognized, and under-treated’

The DLIN/FISCHER CLINICAL RESEARCH AWARD—awarded for significant achievement in clinical research and the highest-scoring oral paper submitted for presentation at the annual meeting—will be presented today.

The 2022 winner is: Nancy Byatt, DO, MS, MBA, FACLP.


Nancy Byatt, DO, MS, MBA, FACLP
Nancy Byatt, DO, MS, MBA, FACLP

Dr. Byatt’s research, The PRogram In Support of Moms (PRISM): Results of a cluster randomized controlled trial of two active interventions addressing perinatal depression in obstetric settings, evaluated two interventions that support obstetric practices in screening, assessing, and treating perinatal depression.

Mental health conditions are a leading cause of preventable pregnancy-related death. “Perinatal depression is common, under-recognized, and under-treated,” says Dr. Byatt. “Perinatal care professionals are in an ideal position to detect and address perinatal depression, thus professional societies and policy makers recommend that depression care be integrated into obstetric care.

“However, depression care at the obstetric practice level lags behind the care standards recommended because there is a dearth of practical approaches supporting the integration of depression care into outpatient obstetric practice.”

To address these barriers, Dr. Byatt, et al., set out to compare the effectiveness of the two interventions to improve depression severity and mental health treatment participation (primary outcomes) in pregnancy through 12 months’ postpartum via a cluster randomized controlled trial.

Federal legislation led to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funding for Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs like MCPAP for Moms. With that support and other funding mechanisms, there are now 21 programs across the US that collectively cover >1.6 million births annually.

“This has major clinical and public health implications given the wide implementation and population-based reach of Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs,” says Dr. Byatt. “Our study informed how perinatal depression can be effectively addressed within the obstetric setting, and, in turn, improve the outcomes of postpartum individuals.”