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Screening for Postpartum Depression by Hospital-Based Perinatal Nurses

Logsdon, M. Cynthia, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN; Vogt, Krista, BSN, RN; Davis, Deborah Winders, PhD; Myers, John, MSPH, PhD; Hogan, Felicia, BSN, RN; Eckert, Diane, BSN, RN; Masterson, Katlin, BSN

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: September 14, 2018 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000470
MCN in Advance: PDF Only

Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate acceptability by new mothers of postpartum depression (PPD) screening and education about community resources by hospital-based perinatal nurses. A secondary purpose was to determine further screening for PPD that women received by community providers in the first few weeks after birth.

Methods: The study design was descriptive. As per standard practice on the unit, all new mothers were screened for depression the night before hospital discharge using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). New mothers identified as high risk for depression by EPDS scores greater than or equal to 10 (n = 75) and a comparison group of mothers at low risk for depression with EPDS scores less than 10 (n = 26) were recruited from an academic health sciences center. Participants were contacted by telephone 2 to 4 weeks later and asked about the acceptability of screening for depression and education about community resources by hospital-based perinatal nurses, as well as if they had received further screening for depression by community providers. Descriptive and correlational statistics were used to analyze data.

Results: The majority of new mothers found it acceptable to be screened for depression and educated about community resources by hospital-based perinatal nurses. Many new mothers were not asked about depressive symptoms by community providers. There was no significant correlation between demographics and depression risk.

Clinical Implications: New mothers viewed depression screening and receiving information on community resources as a positive part of their care. Communication between inpatient and community caregivers should be improved so that new mothers can benefit from seamless depression assessment, evaluation, and treatment.

M. Cynthia Logsdon is a Professor, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. The author can be reached via e-mail at Mclogs01@louisville.edu

Krista Vogt is an Undergraduate Research Scholar, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

Deborah Winders Davis is a Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Child & Adolescent Research Design & Support (CAHRDS) Unit, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, KY.

John Myers is a Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Child & Adolescent Research Design & Support (CAHRDS) Unit, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, KY.

Felicia Hogan is a Clinical Nurse, University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY.

Diane Eckert is a Clinical Manager, Mother-Baby Unit, University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY.

Katlin Masterson is an Undergraduate Research Scholar, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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