Evaluation of ethnic disparities in detection of depression and anxiety in primary care during the maternal period: combined analysis of routine and cohort data

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Background: There are limited data on detection disparities of common mental disorders in minority ethnic women. Aims: Describe the natural history of common mental disorders in primary care in the maternal period, characterise women with, and explore ethnic disparities in, detected and potentially missed common mental disorders. Method: Secondary analyses of linked birth cohort and primary care data involving 8991 (39.4% White British) women in Bradford. Common mental disorders were characterised through indications in the electronic medical record. Potentially missed common mental disorders were defined as an elevated General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) score during pregnancy with no corresponding common mental disorder markers in the medical record. Results: Estimated prevalence of pre-birth common mental disorders was 9.5%, rising to 14.0% 3 years postnatally. Up to half of cases were potentially missed. Compared with White British women, minority ethnic women were twice as likely to have potentially missed common mental disorders and half as likely to have a marker of screening for common mental disorders. Conclusions: Common mental disorder detection disparities exist for minority ethnic women in the maternal period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
JournalThe British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

© Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. This content is made available by the publisher under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND Licence.


  • Adult
  • Anxiety/diagnosis
  • Delayed Diagnosis/statistics & numerical data
  • Depression/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities/ethnology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications/diagnosis
  • Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data
  • United Kingdom/ethnology
  • Young Adult

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