Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2022


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Karen J. Whitt, PhD, FNP-C, AGN-BC, FAANP; Laurie Posey, EdD


Postpartum depression (PPD); Screening; Management


Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) effects approximately 15% of new mothers after the birth of their child which results in feelings of anger, fear and being overwhelmed. In the practice setting for this project there were low rates of PPD screening, leading to missed diagnoses and inadequate management of PPD.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of an education program to increase providers’ perceived knowledge and improve screening, diagnosis and management of PPD for a multicultural patient population at an urban obstetrics practice.

Methods: This pre-post design project evaluated the effectiveness of an educational program for obstetric providers to improve PPD screening rates using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screening (EPDS), diagnosis, and management (behavioral health referrals, medication initiation and follow-up) among patients 2 months before (N=132) and after (N=117) the education program. Provider (N=15) self-assessment of perceived knowledge and awareness of PPD screening, diagnosis, and management were also evaluated before and after the education program.

Results/Findings: Significant improvement in EPDS screening rates (X 2 (1,N=249)=8.684, p=.003) and follow-up visits for patients diagnosed with PPD (X 2 (1,N=55)=4.441, p=.035) were demonstrated between patients 2 months before and after the education program. Providers who participated in the education significantly increased post-education knowledge ratings of PPD management (t(14)=-3.742, p=.002), referrals to mental health professionals (t(14)=-8.497, p=.0001), and prescribing (t(14)=-5.00, p=.0001).

Conclusion: Providing education for obstetrical providers pertaining to PPD resulted in improvement in provider perceived knowledge and PPD screening, diagnosis and follow-up for patients in this organization.

Open Access


Included in

Nursing Commons



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