Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Scoring & Other Information
ABOUT THE EPDS
Studies show that postpartum depression (PPD) affects at least 10 percent of women and that many depressed mothers do not get proper treatment. These mothers might cope with their baby and with household tasks, but their enjoyment of life is seriously affected, and it is possible that there are long term effects on the family.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was developed to assist health professionals in detecting mothers suffering from PPD; a distressing disorder more prolonged than the "blues" (which can occur in the first week after delivery).
The scale consists of 10 short statements. A mother checks off one of four possible answers that is closest to how she has felt during the past week. Most mothers easily complete the scale in less than five minutes.
Responses are scored 0, 1, 2 and 3 based on the seriousness of the symptom. Items 3, 5 to 10 are reverse scored (i.e., 3, 2, 1, and 0). The total score is found by adding together the scores for each of the 10 items.
Mothers scoring above 12 or 13 are likely to be suffering from depression and should seek medical attention. A careful clinical evaluation by a health care professional is needed to confirm a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan. The scale indicates how the mother felt during the previous week, and it may be useful to repeat the scale after two weeks.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USERS
- The mother checks off the response that comes closest to how she has felt during the previous seven days.
- All 10 items must be completed.
- Care should be taken to avoid the possibility of the mother discussing her answers with others.
- The mother should complete the scale herself, unless she has limited English or reading difficulties.
- The scale can be used at six to eight weeks after birth or during pregnancy.
Please note: Users may reproduce this scale without further permission providing they respect the copyright (which remains with the British Journal of Psychiatry), quote the names of the authors and include the title and the source of the paper in all reproduced copies. Cox, J.L., Holden, J.M. and Sagovsky, R. (1987). Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journa' of Psychiatry, 150, 782-786.
Cox, J. L., Holden. J. M., & Sagovsky, R. (1987). Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150. 782-786. The Spanish version was developed at the University of Iowa based on earlier Spanish versions of the instrument. For further information, please contact Michael W. O'Hara, Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52245, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.