Validation of a Clinical Screening Tool for Postpartum Depression in Rural United States

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

In the United States, mental health conditions are the leading underlying cause of maternal mortality, contributing to 23% of maternal deaths. Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common mental health complication experienced by mothers, and contributes significantly to the rising maternal morbidity and mortality seen in the U.S. Rural-dwelling women are disproportionately burdened by PPD risk factors and experience a significant lack of resources in regards to mental health care. In order to improve maternal outcomes within this vulnerable population, rural women must have access to context-specific mental health care. Screening instruments are not always valid for clinical use across diverse populations. To date, there are no instruments designed to screen for PPD which have been validated for use within rural American settings. Therefore, the objective of my proposed research is to establish the psychometric properties of a clinical PPD screening tool for use in an American rural setting.