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J Adv Nurs. 2007 Mar;57(6):565-83.

Screening tools for depressed mood after childbirth in UK-based South Asian women: a systematic review.

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Midwifery Studies Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK.



This paper is a report of a systematic review to answer the question: what is the relevance, acceptability, validity and effectiveness of tools designed to screen for postnatal depressed mood for South Asian women living in the UK?


Standard methods to screen women for postnatal depressed mood were developed with Caucasian populations. This study reviews postnatal screening tools adapted or developed for United Kingdom-based South Asian women.


A structured systematic review of English language studies initially was completed between 1980 and May 2003, and later updated to January 2005. The review was based on an a priori search strategy with inclusion and exclusion criteria and analysis included a quality assessment tool. Findings were tabulated against criteria for acceptability and effectiveness of diagnostic tools.


Seven papers were included in the review. None addressed all preset quality criteria. Four papers among them reported on translations of two existing tools (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and General Household Questionnaire). Two new tools were reported between the remaining three papers (Punjabi Postnatal Depression Scale and 'Doop Chaon'. Doop Chaon is a visual tool. The other tools used either Bengali or Punjabi, based on written scales. The General Household Questionnaire did not appear to be appropriate for this population. None of the studies were rigorous enough to demonstrate generalizable sensitivity or specificity. Qualitative data indicated that women preferred face-to-face interviews to self-complete questionnaires.


None of the tools are currently sufficiently evaluated for clinical practice. Questions are raised specifically about use of language-based tools to measure postnatal depressed mood in this population and about the extent to which focused interviews could be used as an alternative for specific sub-sections of population groups.

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