Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Annie Imboden

Project Team Faculty Member

Bernadette Sobczak


Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Psychosis, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, PPD, PPP, Screening Tool


Postpartum depression affects approximately 10% to 20% of patients who have given birth in the year prior and can detrimentally affect maternal-child relationships. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder following birth, whereas postpartum psychosis (PPP) is a severe mental illness and a medical emergency. If untreated, both disorders can have long-term harmful effects on mothers, infants, and families. Utilizing screening tools, providers can identify these disorders in applicable patients. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is an effective method of recognizing patients most at risk, with a positive score of >/=10 indicating the likelihood of depression. [SB1] The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase the number of patients identified and screened for PPD using the EPDS in two settings, the emergency department and a family care clinic. Staff training, education, and EMR hard stops were utilized to guide staff through the initiative. Three of the twelve patients screened in both facilities had positive scores, with two receiving interventions of medication, counseling, and/or hospitalization. A survey of all staff was completed post-initiative, with an overwhelming majority indicating the iimportance of screening patients in these settings. Project limitations were identified as a need for additional time that the screening and charting required,as well as a lack of knowledge about the disorders. Implementing the EPDS screening tool in the ED and family care settings could positively affect patient care and safety by allowing the opportunity to mitigate the negative outcomes commonly associated with these disorders.

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