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J Reprod Med. 1994 Aug;39(8):620-4.

Use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to identify postpartum depression in a clinical setting.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gundersen Clinic, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601.


The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a validated instrument developed specifically to identify women experiencing postpartum depression (PPD). This study sought to determine the extent of postpartum depression in our population and the maternal characteristics associated with it and to also determine if the scale increased practitioner awareness and treatment of PPD. Two hundred eighty-seven women from the total population completing the EPDS in 1991 (n = 1,139) were randomly selected for retrospective chart review to identify relationships between maternal characteristics and elevated EPDS scores. Charts were also reviewed for outcomes related to depression for the six-month period after delivery. Statistical analysis of the data revealed that 17.4% of the total population had an EPDS score of > or = 10, indicating a potential risk of developing PPD. Eight percent scored > or = 13, suggesting that further assessment was necessary. Marital instability, lack of medical insurance and a history of depression were the factors found to correlate most significantly with elevated EPDS scores. The physicians and midwives providing service for our population were interviewed, and 83% reported that the EPDS had increased their awareness of PPD, while 92% reported having referred for treatment patients with high EPDS scores. Use of the EPDS scale can improve practitioner awareness and aid in the diagnosis of PPD. Several easily identifiable variables are associated with PPD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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