Project Summary

View Final Summary Report

Background: Depression during the perinatal period is the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting 1 in 8 women in the United States. Women in rural areas are disproportionately more likely to experience depression during the perinatal period. Currently, it is unclear how perinatal mental health is contributing to maternal morbidity and mortality in rural communities.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The Iowa Perinatal Health Research Collaborative (IPHRC) and the Identifying Depression through Early Awareness (IDEA) Women’s Health Coalition, along with patient partners, will convene a two-day conference in a Midwestern rural health center focused on research engagement and building capacity in perinatal depression PCOR/CER in rural settings.

Objectives: The purpose of this two-day conference is to convene PCORI-funded research groups and multi-stakeholder groups including patients, providers, and health system leaders to accelerate perinatal depression PCOR/CER in rural communities. The secondary objectives include increasing awareness about perinatal depression and introducing PCOR/CER approaches designed to reduce rural maternal morbidity and mortality. This project will expand the team’s existing local efforts to reach a regional and rural audience of multi-stakeholder groups and build their capacity to engage in perinatal depression PCOR/CER.

Activities: Working in close collaboration with multi-stakeholder groups including patient partners, providers, health system leaders, and researchers, the project team will convene a two-day conference on perinatal depression PCOR/CER. The conference will include keynote speakers from PCORI-funded science and engagement projects, stakeholder panel presentations, and workshop sessions that focus on effective perinatal depression screening, referral, and treatment in rural health clinics.

Outcomes: The primary outcome of the two-day conference will be a stakeholder-driven strategic roadmap and infographic for engaging rural stakeholders in perinatal depression PCOR/CER. A secondary outcome will be expanding the team’s existing academic and community network of providers, patients, and researchers to include rural healthcare systems and payers.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: This engagement project builds on the work of two patient-centered groups (IPHRC and IDEA Women’s Coalition) focused on addressing maternal morbidity and mortality through PCOR/CER. Through these efforts, project partners have identified an urgent need to include rural health systems in the team’s work. Several of the stakeholders live in rural communities and recognize that PCOR/CER designed in urban centers is not always translatable to their rural communities. Based on these experiences, the team and its stakeholders plan to convene a two-day conference. What distinguishes this conference from past efforts is the focus on regional and rural disparities, calling on potential partners across five Midwestern states and tapping into county-level healthcare providers such as public health districts across the states.

Project Collaborators: This project is being led by Kelli Ryckman, PhD, at the University of Iowa and Karen Tabb, PhD, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Project Information

Kelli Ryckman, PhD, MS
University of Iowa College of Public Health

Key Dates

12 months


State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 10, 2022