Faculty Advisor

Diana Dedmon, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-14-2022


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Diseases | Family Practice Nursing | Health and Medical Administration | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Investigative Techniques | Maternal and Child Health | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Nursing | Nursing Administration | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing | Psychiatry and Psychology | Public Health | Public Health and Community Nursing | Virus Diseases


Purpose/Background Maternal depression has been identified as a strong predictor of poor prenatal care. Among pregnant women living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), mental health-related factors such as depression could potentially undermine effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, increase mortality, and cause poor HIV viral suppression consequently impacting vertical transmission of HIV. This scoping review aims to identify existing knowledge regarding the impact of ante- and postnatal depression screening in women with HIV and to adduce the necessity for effective screening.

Methods A literature search was performed for studies with primary outcomes of depression screening within the context of ante- or postnatal timeframe. The authors individually screened relevant articles and collectively found 12 articles appropriate to include in this scoping review based on quality and relevancy to the research question. The study outcomes evaluated include maternal adherence to ART, CD4+ cell counts, infant outcomes, and maternal outcomes in relationship to ante- and postnatal depression.

Results Of the 12 studies meeting criteria for this review, two are Level I evidence, nine are Level II, and one is Level III. Eleven of the included studies showed statistically significant findings in at least one of the evaluated outcomes of this review. Based on the findings of this scoping review, it is demonstrated that ante- and postnatal depression screening of pregnant women with HIV will improve ART adherence as well as maternal and infant outcomes.

Implications for Nursing Practice Findings underscore the need to integrate routine screening for perinatal depression in women with HIV. A positive finding of depression from screening does have an impact on ART adherence, CD4+ count, and the wellbeing of ante-and postnatal women with HIV and their infant. Further research on this topic is needed to understand the implication of specific screening tools and the effect of timely recognition and treatment for this population.