Master's Project Title:

Screening for Postpartum Depression in Well-Child Visits: A Quality Improvement Project from the Minnesota Department of Health

MCH Student:

Grace Buezis

Date of Defense:

November 18, 2015


Introduction. Postpartum depression (PPD) is an increasing concern in public health circles, with estimates of prevalence between 13% and 19%. The objective of this project was to test if quality improvement could be used by health clinics to guide implementation of a PPD screening and referral process in well-child visits.

Methods. Six urban health clinics from around the state of Minnesota participated in a quality improvement project led by the Minnesota Department of Health. Clinics were surveyed monthly about process measures including number of well-child visits, number of offered PPD screens, number of parents with high PPD screens receiving referral, and use of quality improvement processes. Clinic staff were also surveyed at the end of the project on their satisfaction with the project intervention and outcomes.

Results. Clinics were able to maintain high rates of screening throughout the project. Rates of referral for parents with high PPD screens were more variable throughout the project. There was also large variation in the use of quality improvement processes by individual clinics. Staff satisfaction with the project was high with most surveyed staff responding that they felt the project was effective.

Discussion. Overall clinics were able to use quality improvement methods to create an effective screening and referral process for PPD. Some of the variability in referral rate during the project may be due to issues with data collection or low use of the quality improvement processes.