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State of the Science on POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: WHAT NURSE RESEARCHERS HAVE CONTRIBUTED—PART 1

Beck, Cheryl Tatano DNSc, CNM, FAAN

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: March-April 2008 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 121–126
doi: 10.1097/01.NMC.0000313421.97236.cf
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Postpartum depression has been described as a thief that steals motherhood. It can result in tragedy and sometimes in headline-gripping maternal suicide or infanticide. Because one of the highest priorities for nursing is to continually advance the knowledge that underlies nursing practice, it is essential that we understand what nurse researchers have done to advance the knowledge base of postpartum depression. This integrative review is a two-part series for MCN that summarizes 141 postpartum depression studies conducted by nurse researchers from around the globe, including United States, Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong, Taiwan), Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Turkey, and Malaysia. Specific areas of postpartum depression to which nurse researchers have devoted their primary attention include epidemiology, risk factors, transcultural perspectives, instrument development, screening, interventions, and mother-infant interactions.

One of the preeminent scholars in our profession, Dr. Beck is now presenting a two-part series on postpartum depression, and what nurses have studied to help us base our clinical practice on evidence.

Cheryl Tatano Beck is a Professor, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs. She can be reached via e-mail at Cheryl.beck@uconn.edu

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.