Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder that affects women after childbirth. Affected women typically experience symptoms such as feelings of severe sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that make it difficult for them to complete daily activities and to care for their baby. PPD is significantly undertreated, and it may become an important issue that affects the health of a mother, her interaction with the newborn, infant growth, and the mother’s marital relationship. Undertreatment of PPD could stem from lack of knowledge regarding the screening process for PPD. While diagnosing PPD is key to treating the ailment, PPD remains highly underdiagnosed in the United States. This situation may be due to health care professionals’ lack of understanding of the condition and/or of the screening procedures to detect it. A quality improvement project was developed with the aim to increase knowledge on postpartum depression screening amongst healthcare providers in the hospital setting. The project was conducted at a major urban women’s and children’s hospital. A total of 10 participants were included in the study which consisted of nurses, nurse practitioners, obstetric residents, and family medicine residents. The quality improvement project demonstrated that the implementation of a targeted population education intervention for the care of postpartum women positively increased the knowledge of healthcare providers using the postpartum depression screening tools. Pre-test scores ranged from 6 to 13 with an average of 9.8 out of 15. At post-intervention, scores ranged from 10 to 14 with an average of 12.4 out of 15. The change in knowledge was found to be statistically different by 11%, post educational intervention. Education for healthcare providers regarding PPD screening is critical and should be readily available to ensure that adequate treatment is provided to this patient population. This project may inspire future efforts to establish innovative ways and strategies to enhance the quality of postpartum depression screening procedures by healthcare providers, with the goal of benefiting women who are afflicted.