Nurse-Midwifery M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Vingers, Julie Ann

Second Reader

Katrina Wu


Introduction: Identifying the optimal timing and frequency of universal depression screening during pregnancy can optimize the current national recommendations. Identifying whether a protocol for universal depression screening is beneficial in obstetric clinics. This integrative review of published literature explored the optimal timing, frequency, and feasibility of universal antenatal depression screening. Methods: A literature search using CINAHL, PubMed, and Google Scholar identified published and original articles associated with universal antenatal depression screening. Articles were included if they pertained to the topic, were published within the last 6 years, were peer reviewed, available in English, and contained quality evidence. The included studies were screened using a web-based application while organizing them into the PRISMA flow diagram. The results were disseminated into three categories using King’s theory of goal attainment: personal, impersonal, and social. Results: The search identified 543 articles, of which 17 were included in this review. The 17 studies identified the depression screening during every prenatal visit as the optimal frequency, and the least optimal frequency being once during pregnancy. The studies also identified screenings taking place during the intake and first trimester prenatal visit as optimal timing. Lastly, a universal depression screening protocol during pregnancy screened a higher number of patients, which in turn increased the number of women seeking mental health services while pregnant. Discussion: Despite the limited amount of research on the topic, the results showed the need for universal antenatal depression screening protocols in every obstetric clinic. Screening during pregnancy should take place more than once and should include intake and the first trimester visit. The results are clinically significant for obstetric practice providers since they offer a more refined recommendation for depression screening during pregnancy. Gaps in the research, which include barriers to universal screening and consistent thresholds for positive Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Screen results need to be addressed.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse-Midwifery

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis