Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
Recommended frequency: Every 2 weeks
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (“EPDS”) is an instrument developed to screen for postnatal depression in women, and has been validated for use as an ongoing measurement tool for postnatal depression. Studies have validated the EPDS for use during pregnancy and as early as one week postpartum (although it is suggested that there may be higher sensitivity and specificity closer to 4-6 weeks postpartum). This instrument is 10 questions long and rates the frequency of a patient’s symptoms. Note that the EPDS will not detect mothers with anxiety neuroses, phobias or personality disorders.
Research has shown that administering the EPDS for fathers is valid, and that a score greater than 10 has a sensitivity of 89.5% and specificity of 78.2%.
As you are pregnant or have recently had a baby, we would like to know how you are feeling. Please check the answer that comes closest to how you have felt IN THE PAST 7 DAYS, not just how you feel today.
In the past 7 days:
Mothers who score above 13 are likely to be suffering from a depressive illness of varying severity. The EPDS score should not override clinical judgment. A careful clinical assessment should be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The scale indicates how the mother has felt during the previous week.
- QUESTIONS 1, 2, & 4 (without an *): Are scored 0, 1, 2 or 3 with top box scored as 0 and the bottom box scored as 3.
- QUESTIONS 3, 5-10 (marked with an *): Are reverse scored, with the top box scored as a 3 and the bottom box scored as 0.
The scoring of the EPDS ranges from 0 to 30. The authors of the assessment provide guidance that a score of 10 or greater signifies possible depression. The authors also note that providers should always look at a patient’s score on question 10 (suicidal thoughts).
The table below sets out ranges that have been set by Greenspace, primarily based upon the authors’ cut-score of 10.
Cox, J.L., Holden, J.M., and Sagovsky, R. 1987. Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry 150:782-786. K. L. Wisner, B. L. Parry, C. M. Piontek, Postpartum Depression N Engl J Med vol. 347, No 3, July 18, 2002, 194-199.
Users may reproduce the scale without further permission providing they respect copyright by quoting the names of the authors, the title and the source of the paper in all reproduced copies.