Date of Publication


Project Team

Rosemary Dale, Ed.D, APRN


Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is one of the leading causes of postnatal health complications, contributing to both poor maternal and child health outcomes. Standardized screening of PPD during well-child visits (WCV) serves as a unique opportunity to bridge the gap in maternal and postpartum care.

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to increase the screening rate of PPD over a 12-week period. Secondary aims included increasing provider awareness of PPD through presenting an educational module.

Methods: A retrospective chart review identified the screening rate of PPD prior to the QI project. A psychiatrist and member from the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP) presented an educational module for all involved clinical staff. The clinical team identified opportunities to screen new mothers using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during the first year of WCV at the 1-, 2-, 4-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month visits. A flowchart was created to guide providers in the screening and scoring process.

Results: The PPD screening rate increased after delivering an educational module to providers on the importance of utilizing evidence-based screening tools and the impact of PPD. The QI project resulted in a permanent practice change.

Conclusion: Screening new mothers for PPD during the first year of WCV is feasible and contributes to earlier detection of postpartum mental health complications. Earlier detection of PPD supports improved patient outcomes for both mother and baby.

Document Type


Koeller_Poster_04-18-24.pdf (196 kB)
DNP Poster

Available for download on Monday, April 27, 2026