Treatment of severe perinatal mood disorders on a specialized perinatal psychiatry inpatient unit

Mary C. Kimmel, S. Lara-Cinisomo, K. Melvin, A. Di Florio, A. Brandon, S. Meltzer-Brody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perinatal patients with bipolar and psychotic mood disorder exacerbations are challenging to treat and often receive suboptimal care. We sought to examine the treatment patterns and outcomes on one of the only US-based Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Units (PPIU). Perinatal patients admitted to the PPIU completed self-report measures at admission and before discharge. Retrospective chart reviews extracted history, diagnoses (current and past), and medication treatment. Patients who had discharge diagnoses of bipolar disorder, major depression with psychotic features, or postpartum psychosis were included. Forty-seven met the diagnostic inclusion criteria. Over an average length of stay (ALOS) of 9.96 days, there was significant improvement in depressive and anxiety symptoms and daily functioning (Work and Social Adjustment Scale). Psychiatric comorbidity was common. Polypharmacy was utilized in 87 %. The most common medications prescribed at discharge were antipsychotics, alone or in combination with mood stabilizers or antidepressants. ECT was performed in 10 % of cases. The complexity of patients with severe mood disorders or psychosis admitted to the PPIU supports individualized treatment plans that address both primary diagnosis and psychiatric comorbidities. Our results provide important information that can be disseminated to others to improve clinical outcomes for severe perinatal mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-653
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression with psychotic features
  • Perinatal psychiatry inpatient unit
  • Postpartum psychosis
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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