Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Friesen, Pam


With more than 800,000 new mothers in the United States experienceing postpartum depression (PPD) in the first year following delivery, research is warranted to determine if prenatal education is effective in reducing or eliminating PPD altogether. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review of literature is to examine PPD and determine if the concept of prenatal education can effectively prevent or reduce the risk of PPD. Results: Pender's Health Promotion Model (HPM) was used to assist in anayzing studies for the literature review. Research included twently individual studies including both qualitative and quantitaive methods. The critical review of literature revealed that PPD is a significant issue affectig ten to fifteen percent of women in the United States who experience the condidition within the first year after giving birth. In the majority of cases, prenatal education is seen as an important and helpful intervention which can be utilized as an effective nursing measure. Additional research is sugggeted for most studies. Conclusions: Postpartum depression prevention education or prenatal education should be addressed as a vital piece of nursing practice in the area of total prenatal care. It is essential that individuals are universally screened for depressive symptoms so nurses can build professional rapport and trusting relationships with patients for women to overcome psychological barriers to receive help and various forms of suppport. Continued research is recommended. Implications for Nursing Research and Practice: Further research shoud be conducted regarding the importance of prenata and postpartm depression screening for interventions to be initiated during early pregnancy and continued throught the first year. Another research item for considereation is the efficacy of various PPD interventions such as cognitive based therapy(CBT), interpersonal psychotherapies (IPT) and various programs as they relate to improved socialization and PPD prevention. Establishing the best practice for pregnant women as it relates to postpartum depression education is paramount in reducing PPD rates and improving postive outcomes regarding mother and infant wellness and bonding.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons