In the News

Collaborative Care Eliminated Racial Disparities for Pregnant People

January 1, 2022

A new study showed that Collaborative Care eliminated mental health care disparities between Black and white pregnant people. This study was presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s (SMFM) annual meeting; research suggests that implementation of the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) during pregnancy improves the screening and treatment of depression and reduces racial disparities. These findings are also published in a supplement in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“In primary care, the Collaborative Care Model allows mental health care to be seamlessly integrated into physical health care,” Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH, a maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist and assistant professor at Northwestern University, said in a press release. In the field of obstetrics, however, this model is not often utilized.”

Researchers analyzed data from 4,710 pregnant and postpartum people who self-identified as either Black or white. Individuals were divided into two groups: Before and after implementation of CoCM with results analyzed by race. The primary goal of the research was:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  1. Evaluate how often pregnant people are screened for depression.
  2. When a pregnant person screened positive for depression, determine how often treatment was recommended.

The study found that after CoCM was implemented, mental health disparities between Black and white populations were eliminated. Similarly, for pregnant people who screened positive, implementation of CoCM was associated with elimination of racial disparities in the recommendation of treatment. 


According to the article, researchers state the next step is to implement CoCM in obstetrics care across the United States to help improve health outcomes for pregnant people with depression.


Collaborative Care Eliminated Racial Disparities for Pregnant People


The abstract has been published in the January 2022 supplement of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOGand can be accessed at no cost. To view the presentation of this abstract or other Pregnancy Meeting™ abstracts and events, visit the SMFM website or contact Karen Addis at or 301-787-2394.