Objective: The effectiveness of a hospital discharge education program including information on postnatal depression was evaluated to reduce psychological morbidity after childbirth. Methods: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted in a regional hospital in Taipei. Two hundred first-time mothers agreed to take part and were randomly allocated to an intervention group (n = 100) or control group (n = 100). The intervention group received discharge education on postnatal depression provided by postpartum ward nurses. The control group received general postpartum education. The main outcome measure was the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) administered by postal questionnaire at six weeks and three months after delivery. Results: Women who received discharge education intervention on postnatal depression were less likely to have high depression scores when compared to the control group at three months postpartum. Conclusion: A discharge educational intervention including postnatal depression information given to women during the postpartum stay benefits psychological well-being. Practice implications: A postpartum discharge education program including information on postnatal depression should be integrated into postpartum discharge care in general practice.
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