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BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Sep 7;14:242. doi: 10.1186/s12888-014-0242-7.

Early identification of women at risk of postpartum depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in a sample of Lebanese women.



During the postpartum period, women are vulnerable to depression affecting about 10 to 20% of mothers during the first year after delivery. However, only 50% of women with prominent symptoms are diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD). The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is the most widely used screening instrument for PPD . The main objectives of this study are to assess whether an EPDS score of 9 or more on day 2 (D2) postpartum is predictive of a depressive episode between days 30 and 40 postpartum (D30-40), to determine the risk factors as well as the prevalence of PPD in a sample of Lebanese women and to determine a threshold score of EPDS predictive of PPD.


A sample of 228 women were administered the EPDS on D2. An assessment for PPD was done on D30-40 during a telephone interview.


On D2, the average score on EPDS was 7.1 (SD = 5.2) and 33.3% of women had an EPDS score ≥ 9. On D30-40 postpartum, the average score was 6.5 (SD = 4.7) and 19 women (12.8%) presented with PPD. A positive correlation was shown between scores on EPDS on D2 and D30-40 (r = 0.5091, p < 0.0001). A stepwise regression shows that an EPDS score ≥9 on D2 (p < 0.001) and a personal history of depression (p = 0.008) are significantly associated with the diagnosis of PPD on D30-40.


The EPDS may be considered as a reliable screening tool on as early as D2 after delivery. Women with EPDS score ≥ 9 and/or a positive personal history of major depressive disorder should benefit from a closer follow-up during the rest of the post-partum period.

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