Early recognition of postpartum depression through education: A quality improvement initiative
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Many women have misplaced high expectations after giving birth to care for themselves, the newborn, the home, and breastfeeding with little to no sleep. As a result, they may feel inadequate in their role and ashamed to ask for assistance and suffer from postpartum depression (PPD). Although the mother may not be willing to admit these feelings and concerns, if properly educated, her support systems may recognize early signs of PPD and encourage her to seek medical attention. Studies have shown that the support system of the woman plays a crucial role in the prevention, diagnosis and effective treatment of PPD. This quality improvement (QI) initiative utilized the existing literature to formulate an educational pamphlet geared towards the support system. The initiative was implemented over four weeks in a women’s health clinic. A sample size of 183 participants partook in a pre and post-test in order to measure the knowledge gained. Categorical variables were evaluated using the Chi-square test between the pre and post questions. Continuous variables were evaluated using t-test between the percentage of pre and post proportion correct. The findings of the study suggest that support system education increases PPD awareness and knowledge.