Support and Training to Enhance Primary Care for Postpartum Depression

Treating PPD

This module is designed to provide providers with basic guidelines for treating women with postpartum depression (PPD) in primary care settings. The information presented here reflects a combination of empirical evidence and clinical experience, and it covers the basics of pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions. Resources provided with this module are designed to support implementation of treatment.

Learning Objectives

After reviewing this module, providers should be able to:

  • Summarize the basic research findings on treatments for PPD and treatments used for depression in general
  • List three or four key factors involved in determining which treatment options are best suited for individual patients
  • Identify situations for which medication for PPD is indicated and explain how you would determine which medication to choose
  • List three or four examples of nonpharmacological treatment options for PPD and list the basic indications for each treatment option
  • Describe several techniques to engage patients in treatment and list three reasons why engagement is important to the treatment process
  • Describe the steps taken when conducting follow-up for treatment and referrals
  • Summarize the basic research findings on treatments for PPD and treatments used for depression in general
  • List three or four examples of nonpharmacological treatment options for PPD and list the basic indications for each treatment option
  • Describe several techniques to engage patients in treatment and list 3 reasons why engagement is important to the treatment process
  • Describe the steps taken when conducting follow-up for treatment and referrals
Note: The information presented here is intended as a guide and is not meant to be exhaustive. Completion of this module will educate you about treatment methods for PPD and help you make decisions about what method of treatment might be indicated for specific patients. However, additional training and clinical supervision is advised. It is also critical to stay abreast of the new literature assessing methods of treatment and patient outcomes as it becomes available.
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Table of Content

  1. Brief Review of the Literature on Treating Depression
    1. PPD-Specific Treatments
    2. Empirical Research on Treatments for Major Depression
  2. Engagement Patient in Treatment and/or Referral
    1. The Importance of Engagement
    2. How to Engage Patients
  3. Overcoming Barriers to Treatment
  4. Making Clinical Decisions
    1. Decide Who to Treat and Who to Refer
    2. Introduce Treatment Options to the Patient
    3. Collaboratively Decide Which Treatment Method to Employ
  5. Models/Methods of Treatment In Primary Care Settings
    1. Pharmacological Treatments
    2. Psychotherapy Treatments
    3. Alternatives to Pharmacological and Psychotherapeutic Treatments
    4. Collaborative Care
  6. Follow-Up In Primary Care Settings
    1. Assessing Treatment Effectiveness
    2. Managing Relapse
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