CARHS Spotlight - Fall 2013

Dr. Deepika Goyal, Valley Foundation School of Nursing

In the CARHS Spotlight for Fall 2013 is CASA researcher Dr. Deepika Goyal, Associate Professor in the Valley Foundation School of Nursing.


Dr. Goyal was a Nursing student at SJSU, and joined the faculty in a tenure track position in 2007 upon completing her PhD in Nursing from UCSF. Dr. Goyal teaches maternal child health, and her main area of research is postpartum depression. She is interested in how sleep disruption may affect depression in new mothers.

“…The big thing is sleep fragmentation. New mothers don't sleep. They typically don't sleep because their babies don't sleep - and that sleep fragmentation really puts you at risk for postpartum depression.”

Dr. Goyal is particularly interested in how postpartum depression affects Asian American women, and how cultural beliefs may affect women’s understanding of the disorder, and their help-seeking behaviors. Her research work has explored this issue using qualitative methods.

“…Usually Asian Americans are grouped together in studies, not separated into Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese. But there are differences among the cultures. And so part of my work has been looking at the differences and interviewing new mothers…What do they think of depression? What do their families think of depression? What would they do if they felt they had postpartum depression, and what kind of treatment would they want?”

She notes that there are still gaps in services for this population of women, and emphasizes that the consequences for failing to treat this problem in women are very serious.

“…OB-GYNs were saying I should recruit from the pediatricians' office, and the pediatricians' offices said ‘This is not our problem. You should recruit from the OB-GYN office.’ So there's still a little bit of that out there - that the pediatrician feels that the baby or the infant is their patient, not the mother (and vice versa). But what's coming out now in the research is that untreated postpartum depression has severe risks for the whole family. There are problems with maternal child bonding, there are cognitive development issues, there is delayed readiness for school. So it's everyone's problem. We can't keep pushing it back and forth.”

Dr. Goyal was interviewed by CARHS Director Amy D'Andrade for our Fall 2013 Spotlight. 

Dr. Goyal in conversationDr. Goyal treating a patientDr. Goyal teaching a class

Goyal, D., Wong, E., Shen, J., Wang, E. & Palainappan, L. (2012). Clinically Identified Postpartum Depression in Asian American Mothers. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41(3), 408-416

Goyal, D., Shen, J.,Wang, E. & Palainappan, L. Gestational Diabetes Rates Across Asian American Subgroups. Poster presented at the American Diabetes Association, 71st Scientific Sessions meeting, June 23, 2011, San Diego, CA.

Goyal, D. Postpartum Depression among Asian Americans. Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association’s 8th Annual Conference, Evidence-Based Nursing: Practice, Education, & Research, March 26, 2011, Houston, TX. Podium Presentation. 

Goyal, D., Gay, C., & Lee, K (2010). How much does low socioeconomic status increase the risk of prenatal and postpartum depressive symptoms in first time mothers? Women’s Health Issues, 20(2), 96-104.

Goyal, D. Postpartum Depression: Which Instrument Should I Use for my Patient? Specialty podium presentation at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing, San Diego, California, June 30, 2009.

Goyal, D., Gay, C., & Lee, K. (2009). Fragmented maternal sleep is more strongly correlated with depressive symptoms than infant temperament at three months postpartum. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 12(4), 229-237.

Goyal, DSocioeconomic Status and Postpartum Depression. Podium presentation at the Western Institute of Nursing Regional Conference, Anaheim, California, April 17, 2008.

Goyal, D., Gay, C., & Lee, K. (2007). Patterns of Sleep Disruption and Depressive Symptoms in New Mothers. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 2(2), 123-129.

Goyal, D., Murphy, S., & Cohen, J. (2006). Immigrant Asian Indian Women and Postpartum Depression. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological, and Neonatal Nursing, 35(1), 98-104.