Project Summary

Background: Perinatal depression, depression during pregnancy and postpartum, is a serious health concern for patients and providers. Untreated perinatal depression can result in adverse outcomes such as preterm birth for infants or even suicidal ideation for postpartum women. Several new models offer promise for assessing and treating perinatal depression. However, few studies involve patients in the design or delivery of research studies, and even fewer studies take into account the perspectives of low-income and minority populations.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The shared flow of information rarely occurs between patients, providers, and researchers.  Thus, this project will convene a national workshop of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) perinatal depression researchers, recently trained patient-researchers, and prospective patient-researchers to build a community of patient involvement in perinatal PCOR/CER.

Objectives: This workshop is designed to enhance the research capacity of patient-researchers and to build a national network of perinatal depression patient-researchers.

Activities: The primary activity is to facilitate a two-day workshop that will include leading perinatal depression researchers, patients, and other stakeholders to review and introduce contemporary research and identify pathways for patient and patient-researcher engagement. Secondary activities include increasing awareness about perinatal depression CER through maternal mental health events and outlets.

Outcomes and Outputs:

  • Host the proposed research-capacity-building national workshop
  • Open social media groups to host perinatal patient-researcher communities nationwide
  • Complete the workshop summary report and a special issue proposal for a refereed perinatal depression research journal identified by workshop participants
  • Dissemination of the workshop through patient networks, events, and social media
  • Develop initial listserv to maintain communications with prospective patient-researcher network participants

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The engagement plan is twofold. First, in preparation for the workshop, the project team will draw upon the local and regional expertise of patient-researchers and stakeholders involved in the Identifying Depression through Early Awareness Women’s Health Coalition in the planning and delivery of the capacity-building workshop. At the national level, the team will work to strengthen PCOR perinatal depression research by collaborating with professional and scientific stakeholders. Second, after the workshop, the team will continue to engage with stakeholders, researchers, and patient-researchers who are connected through the workshop. Specifically, the project team will communicate via social media communities and a listserv that connects prospective and committed researchers and patient-researchers. The team envisions patient and stakeholder engagement as a continuous effort with the objective of establishing a national patient-researcher network on perinatal depression research and care.

Project Collaborators: For this project, the team will leverage its relationship with the local public health district and regional perinatal health networks to broaden the capacity of low-income and minority patient-researchers from the central Illinois region. The project is a collaboration with Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, University of Illinois Carle College of Medicine, College of Education, and School of Social Work.

Project Information

Karen Tabb Dina, PhD, MSW
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

Key Dates

12 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 30, 2022