Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Clin Psychol. 2008 Jun;47(Pt 2):153-69. Epub 2007 Aug 29.

Subscales measuring symptoms of non-specific depression, anhedonia, and anxiety in the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK.



There has been considerable research and clinical interest in the comorbidity of anxiety and depression in the post-partum period, and specifically in the possibility that the commonly used Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) incorporates an anxiety component. We hypothesized that the recommended version of factor analysis (Fabrigar, Wegener, MacCallum, & Strahan, 1999) would identify such covert dimensions more reliably than the commonly used principal components analysis with varimax rotation and eigenvalues greater than 1.


Principal axis factor extraction with parallel analysis and oblique (direct quartimin) factor rotation was applied to the 10 EPDS items.


The study used a sample of recent mothers recruited and assessed via e-mail and the Internet (N=440). In addition to the EPDS, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scales (PANAS) were also administered.


Three factors were found, which were identified as 'non-specific depressive symptoms', 'anhedonia', and 'anxietal symptoms' subscales, respectively. These subscales were regressed on the HADS anxiety and depression and the PANAS positive and negative affectivity scales, with results substantially consistent with current structural models of the taxonomy of the emotional disorders.


The data were obtained from a self-selected non-clinical sample. In addition, it is known that the use of computer-based assessment may tend to inflate self-report scores.


It was concluded that there is now sufficient evidence that clinicians should not assume the EPDS to be unidimensional, but should assess all three subscales when screening for susceptibility to post-partum depression and/or post-partum anxiety.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk