Identifying Depression through Early Assessment (IDEA) Research Team

IDEA Mission: Our mission is to improve maternal health through early identification of risk factors during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

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Our research team is interested in identifying major risk factors associated with depressive disorders for women. We are particularly interested in collaborative care approaches for identifying and assessing depressive symptoms in health care settings to improve health outcomes for women over the life course. Our research is of interest to health care providers, policy makers, academic researchers, patient advocacy groups, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Women & Health, General Hospital Psychiatry, Ethnicity & Health and Archives of Women’s Mental Health.

 Meet the Research Investigators

Funded Projects:

Perinatal Depression Database Registry in a Public Health Clinic to examine Racial Differences in Perinatal Depression funded by the Campus Research Board

The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for depressive symptoms among a low-income and racially diverse sample of pregnant and postpartum women. We are currently collecting primary data on depressive symptoms and risk factors (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, illicit drug use) for adverse birth outcomes using the database registry to collect information from electronic medical records.

Electronic Screening for Perinatal Depression using mHealth Technology funded by the Monkman Endowment Award for Faculty Research

The aim of this study is to implement a universal electronic depression screening system to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for depressive symptoms among a racially diverse sample of pregnant and postpartum women in Central, Illinois. We are interested in the process of screening for depressive symptoms using mHealth technology in clinics. In the future we plan to conduct a sociotechnical process evaluation and expect patient health literacy to improve if patients are able to access information from the depression screening in their electronic medical record patient portal.

Postpartum Suicidal Ideation in Brazil funded by the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies at the University of Illinois

The purpose of this investigation is to explore and identify the associated relationship between intimate partner violence and postpartum suicidal ideation among low-income women in São Paulo, Brazil. We further hypothesize that inclusion of pregnancy intention and sociodemographic factors will explain the variance and reduce the association between suicidal ideation and violence in our sample of postpartum women in São Paulo, Brazil.

  Meet the Research Assistants 


Karen Tabb Dina_imageKaren Tabb Dina

Karen Tabb Dina is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign in the School of Social Work. Dr. Tabb Dina’s current research focuses on the social determinants of health and mental health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women. She is principle investigator on a database registry study in a racially and ethnically diverse public health clinic to screen perinatal women for psychosocial risk factors during pregnancy related to adverse birth outcomes. She is also a part of a team investigation to identify the multiple social determinants of pregnancy outcomes and health disparities over the life course. Dr. Tabb Dina received her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington in Seattle.