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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Apr;19(2):307-16. doi: 10.1007/s00737-015-0553-9. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

Development of the Perinatal Depression Inventory (PDI)-14 using item response theory: a comparison of the BDI-II, EPDS, PDI, and PHQ-9.

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TeleSage, Inc., 201 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, NC, 27510, USA.
Emory University, PAIS Building, 36 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.
SAS Institute Inc., 100 SAS Campus Drive, Cary, NC, 27513-2414, USA.
Mental Health Partners, 1333 Iris Ave., Boulder, CO, 80304-2226, USA.
NetSmart Technologies, Inc., 4950 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS, 66211, USA.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Greenlaw 211, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, 4444 E. 41st Street, Tulsa, OK, 74135, USA.


The objective of this study is to develop a simple, brief, self-report perinatal depression inventory that accurately measures severity in a number of populations. Our team developed 159 Likert-scale perinatal depression items using simple sentences with a fifth-grade reading level. Based on iterative cognitive interviewing (CI), an expert panel improved and winnowed the item pool based on pre-determined criteria. The resulting 67 items were administered to a sample of 628 pregnant and 251 postpartum women with different levels of depression at private and public sector obstetrics clinics, together with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Edinburg Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS), and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), as well as Module A of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Diagnoses (SCID). Responses were evaluated using Item Response Theory (IRT). The Perinatal Depression Inventory (PDI)-14 items are highly informative regarding depression severity and function similarly and informatively across pregnant/postpartum, white/non-white, and private-clinic/public-clinic populations. PDI-14 scores correlate well with the PHQ-9, EPDS, and BDI-II, but the PDI-14 provides a more precise measure of severity using far fewer words. The PDI-14 is a brief depression assessment that excels at accurately measuring depression severity across a wide range of severity and perinatal populations.


Depression; IRT; PDI-14; Perinatal; Postpartum

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