Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Janice M. Long
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder affecting approximately 20% of women within 6 months of delivery. Untreated PPD diminishes a woman's functioning and may result in short and long-term consequences for her infant. Screening with evidence-based tools can identify prenatal and postpartum women at risk for PPD, ensure early treatment, and limit adverse maternal and infant effects. Using Rosswurm and Larrabee's evidence-based practice model, a multidisciplinary team of 7 key stakeholders, including directors and a nurse from the departments of OB/GYN, Pediatrics, and Primary Care, a psychiatrist specializing in women's health, and a member of nursing leadership, formed to guide the project. The purpose of the project was to develop a quality improvement initiative to promote antenatal and postnatal screening for PPD in the practice setting that lacked an evidence-based tool. As a federally qualified health center, the practice setting serves an ethnically and racially diverse population, particularly at risk for PPD. Project team members evaluated and graded current literature using the Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Rating Scale. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was introduced and a policy and procedure developed to guide PPD screening. A formative evaluation of the policy and procedure using the AGREE instrument validated development. Project team members strongly agreed to use the EPDS as a PPD screening tool in the clinic population. A summative evaluation supported DNP student leadership of the project. The project has increased awareness of PPD and screening in the practice setting and, focused on improvements in the lives of women, infants, and their families.