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Psychosom Med. 1997 Mar-Apr;59(2):207-10.

Screening psychiatric morbidity after miscarriage: application of the 30-item General Health Questionnaire and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.



Psychiatric morbidity affects 48% to 51% of women who have miscarried. This study evaluated the utility of two sample and brief self-report questionnaires in screening psychiatric morbidity after miscarriage.


One hundred fifty-six subjects completed the 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) 6 weeks after miscarriage. Then there was a blind assessment using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) to establish psychiatric diagnosis. The criterion validity of GHQ and EPDS were tested against this yardstick diagnosis and the concurrent validity against the BDI scores. The internal consistency of the scales was measured by Cronbach's alpha-coefficient.


Both GHQ and EPDS had good sensitivity and specificity in screening for psychiatric morbidity after miscarriage. The concurrent validity and the internal consistency of both scales were satisfactory. The EPDS could only identify those subjects with major depression. The GHQ was longer to perform, but was able to detect both anxiety and depressive disorders. Furthermore, the GHQ had better psychometric properties when compared with the EPDS.


These scales will be particularly useful for nonpsychiatric medical personnel. We recommend routine application of the GHQ 6 to 8 weeks after miscarriage to identify women who may require psychiatric management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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