Postpartum Depression Screening at Well-Child Appointments: A Quality Improvement Project

Sarah Mgonja, Anne Schoening

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction The purpose of this quality improvement project was to implement and evaluate a postpartum depression screening program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during well-child appointments up to 1 year of age at a private, faith-based primary care clinic. Method The Plan–Do–Study–Act framework was used in this quality improvement project. The EPDS was administered to mothers ages 19 years and older at their infants' well-child appointments at a faith-based clinic in the Midwest. A score of 10 or higher was considered a positive result. The results were reviewed, and protocol changes were implemented every 2 weeks using the Plan–Do–Study–Act framework. Results A total of 35 mothers completed the EPDS during the 9-week implementation period. Of 37 mothers asked to participate, nearly all agreed (97.3%); there was one refusal (2.7%). Staff compliance rate with administering the EPDS was 78.7%; there were 10 missed opportunities (21.3%). There were five positive EPDS results (14.3%). Mothers who screened positive were between the ages of 20 and 44 years. Infant ages were between 2 weeks and 12 months. Discussion Screening mothers at well-child appointments can identify women with postpartum depression. Not doing so is a missed opportunity. The results of this project support the identification of postpartum depression by screening using the EPDS during well-child appointments up to 1 year of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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