A Nurse-led Initiative to Improve Obstetricians’ Screening for Postpartum Depression


Address correspondence to: gschaar@usi.edu.


Although up to 20 percent of women experience postpartum depression, screening is not standard practice. In a metropolitan area where only 1 of 30 obstetricians and two primary care clinics reported routine screening for postpartum depression, a nurse-led initiative to implement routine screening using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was carried out. Twenty-two obstetricians (76 percent) agreed to consistently implement screening for 3 months. Of the 21 participating obstetricians, 71.4 percent indicated that postpartum depression screening would become their standard care. This article describes implementation strategies and lessons learned.