To access the Perinatal Depression Curriculum, please login to Pedialink using your AAP ID and password to access the Training and Learning Center, click on Training and Learning Curricula, and find the Perinatal Depression Curriculum. This is curriculum is available to all AAP members and all medical students.

Participating in this curriculum provides learners with a deep dive into perinatal depression and enables health care professionals to engage in small group discussions and promote peer-to-peer learning around this topic.

Perinatal Depression Curriculum Structure

The facilitator guide for the perinatal depression curriculum included the following key elements:

  • Four training modules, with case scenarios in each module to provide learning experiences using different tiers of cases and guides.
  • Preceptor talking points and questions; however, the experience with the residents is encouraged to be individualized.
  • Recommended resources to support continued learning.
  • Flexibility in the delivery of the perinatal depression curriculum (e.g., in a continuity clinic, during a call, conference, or other options).

Perinatal Depression Curriculum Topics

The following topics were covered in the perinatal depression curriculum:

  • Screening for perinatal depression—including selecting a screening tool, and interpreting and counseling on results.
  • Counseling on protective factors for primary care intervention.
  • Identifying epidemiology of perinatal depression—including risk factors for perinatal depression.
  • Providing culturally sensitive in-office counseling for perinatal depression.
  • Supporting and advocating for policies that promote perinatal depression screening, discussion, primary care intervention, and referral/linkage.
  • Building referral relationships and coordinating services and referrals with community resources.
  • Describing the connection between perinatal depression and child development and understanding evidence-based interventions.

Perinatal Depression Curriculum Pilot Programs

The perinatal depression curriculum was piloted with residents in the following 5 programs across the United States:

  • Emory University
  • Indiana University School of Medicine, Riley Hospital for Children
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
  • University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center

Perinatal Depression Curriculum Preceptor Feedback Highlights

AAP funded JBS International, Inc. (JBS) to collect feedback from perinatal depression curriculum preceptors before and after their implementation of the curriculum. Some key themes include:

  • Preceptors felt that the perinatal depression curriculum met the learning objectives, and they were able to successfully facilitate the discussion-based learning model.
  • The most common reported skills and knowledge trainees gained through completion of the perinatal depression curriculum were conversation techniques and screening knowledge.
  • Having residents from different years and/or specialties participated together was helpful in generating active learning and discussion.
  • Potential curriculum enhancements include incorporating video clips and developing a student-facing curriculum separate from the facilitator guide to enhance learning and engagement.
“It has been really fun to do this with the residents; in fact, because I was working with co-facilitators, I am actually going to do that more in our whole sessions, so it helped us do lots of different things.”—Perinatal Depression Curriculum Preceptor
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American Academy of Pediatrics