Date of Award

Summer 2023

Project Type


College or School




Departments (Collect)


Program or Major

Direct Entry Masters in Nursing

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Pamela Kallmerten

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Evans


BACKGROUND: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbirth, but often goes undiagnosed. Adequate patient education on PPD increases the patient’s knowledge and supports enhanced communication between patients and provider. Maternity nurses have continued interaction with new mothers and are in a vital position to educate patients regarding PPD. However, maternity nurses may lack confidence in delivering the appropriate education and resources for PPD to postpartum women.

LOCAL PROBLEM: Within the given microsystem, there was currently a gap that existed between PPD education for nurses and the delivery of PPD patient education.

METHODS: Utilizing the Plan-Do-Study-Act model, a pre-/posttest survey design, along with supplementary educational materials were provided to maternity nurses within the microsystem. Responses were examined to assess maternity nurses’ knowledge of postpartum depression risk factors, signs, symptoms, and resources as well as, confidence in caring for postpartum women.

RESULTS: Data analysis suggests an increase in maternity nurses’ knowledge and confidence after implementation of educational materials. After reviewing the educational materials, 77% of nurses now feel confident educating patients on resources for PPD, 77% feel confident educating patients on local support groups for PPD, 62% are aware of the facilities resources for PPD, 85% of respondents are now aware of online support groups for PPD, 69% are familiar with in person support groups for PPD, and 85% are familiar with the Postpartum Support International Hotline.

CONCLUSIONS: The results reveal that most of the nursing staff who participated feel as if their knowledge and confidence increased after implementation of the intervention. The data suggests that maternity nurses within this microsystem have an increased awareness of the postpartum resources that are available to patients when provided with additional educational materials. Nurses appear to be more proficient and confident in educating postpartum women regarding the signs, symptoms and risk factors for postpartum education when provided with educational resources. Increased awareness and education in maternity nurses’ aids in early identification of postpartum depression and decreasing the prevalence of the disorder.