Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
To function as an independent investigator, during Dr. Dennis’s CIHR-funded postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Health Care & Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine she designed and completed a three-phased research project related to postpartum depression [Funding: $37,222 – Fraser Valley Health Region and the Hamber Foundation]. Phase I consisted of six focus groups with mothers who previously experienced postpartum depression to understand their help-seeking behaviours and intervention preferences; a graduate student completed the study. Phase II consisted of a population-based longitudinal study where public health nurses recruited 645 mothers to complete questionnaires at 1, 4, and 8 weeks postpartum. The purpose of this study was to (1) psychometrically evaluate the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in the immediate postpartum period [published: Journal of Affective Disorders] and (2) develop a multi-factorial predictive model to identify mothers at-risk for postpartum depression in the immediate postpartum period [published: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica]. Phase III was a pilot randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of peer (mother-to-mother) support among mothers identified with depressive symptomatology [published: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry]. For the pilot trial, Dr. Dennis developed a 125-page peer volunteer training manual (table of contents). This postdoctoral work has laid the theoretical and empirical foundation for her completed Postpartum Depression Peer Support Trial (abstract).