Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
AN EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION ADDRESSING POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: A PILOT STUDY
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects one in seven women; however, only 15% of women with PPD seek psychological help. Perceived stigma and lack of knowledge regarding PPD have been identified as barriers that prevent women from seeking help. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a theory-based, antenatal educational intervention that addresses barriers to help-seeking behavior for the treatment of PPD. The goal of the proposed intervention was to enhance pregnant women’s willingness to seek psychological help should they develop PPD by decreasing stigma and increasing knowledge.
A single group, pre-test post-test, quasi-experimental, pilot study was conducted with a non-randomized sample of 24 pregnant women. Participants were predominately Caucasian (62.5%). The mean age of the group was 26.54 years (SD = 4.60) and ages ranged from 19 to 35. The mean gravida of the participants was 1.79 (SD= 1.06) and the mean para was .88 (SD = .992) with the number of children ranging from 0 to 3. More than 60% of the participants were married (50%) or partnered (12.5%) and denied a history of mental illness (62.5%).
Findings from the Inventory of Attitudes Towards Seeking Mental Health Services (IASMHS) and the Beliefs About Psychological Services (BAPS) showed that participants reported less stigmatizing views towards seeking psychological help for PPD after the educational intervention as compared to before the intervention (p = < .001; p = .003). Participants also reported increased willingness to seek psychological help for PPD following the intervention (p = < .001; p = .003). Additionally, findings based on the Knowledge of Postpartum Depression (KPPD) showed a significant increase in knowledge of PPD after the intervention (p = .001).
Future research should focus on further development of the educational intervention to include detailed information regarding how to seek help and the addition of significant others as participants. Providing women with more help-seeking information and including their significant other in the intervention may be instrumental for further increasing women’s willingness to seek help while decreasing their significant other’s stigmatizing views regarding PPD and help-seeking. If significant others understand PPD and the maternal benefits of seeking help, they may serve as a facilitator to women’s help-seeking behavior.
Grissette, Brittany G., "An Educational Intervention Addressing Postpartum Depression and Help-Seeking Behavior: A Pilot Study." Dissertation, Georgia State University, 2022.
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