Help Seeking in the Perinatal Period: A Review of Barriers and Facilitators

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49 Scopus citations


Perinatal depression affects approximately 10 to 20 percent of women during pregnancy or the first 12 months postpartum. Increased attention has been given to the prevalence of and screening for perinatal depression, yet little research addresses help seeking for this issue. The overall barriers and facilitators of help seeking among these women have yet to be addressed in a systematic way. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify studies that focused on help seeking among women with perinatal depression. Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria discussed below and were included in this review. Barriers to help seeking for women with perinatal depression include social (e.g. stigma), structural (e.g. provider unavailable) and instrumental factors (e.g. cost). Facilitators of help seeking for women with perinatal depression were limited in scope. Recommendations for policy and the role of social workers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-605
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Work in Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 3 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Perinatal depression
  • help seeking
  • mental health
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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