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Thirty years with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale: voices from the past and recommendations for the future

  • John Cox (a1)

Summary

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was published over 30 years ago as a ten-item self-report questionnaire to facilitate the detection of perinatal depression – and for use in research. It is widely used at the present time in many regions of the world and has been translated into over 60 languages. It is occasionally misused. In this editorial, updated recommendations for optimal use in primary and secondary care as well as research are provided. Future studies to evaluate its use and validity in naturalistic community populations are now required, and to determine the psychometric properties and practical usefulness of the EPDS when completed online.

Declaration of interest

J.C. has no financial interest in the use of, or reproduction of, the EPDS.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: 23 New Court, Lansdown Rd, Cheltenham GL50 2JG, UK. Email: John6.cox@gmail.com

References

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11O'Connor, E, Rossom, RC, Henninger, M, Groom, HC, Burda, BU. Primary care screening for and treatment of depression in pregnant and postpartum women. Evidence report and systematic review for the US preventive services task force. JAMA 2016; 315: 388406.
12Howard, L, Ryan, EG, Trevillion, K, Anderson, F, Bick, D, Bye, A, et al. The accuracy of the Whooley Questions and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in identifying depression and other mental disorder in pregnancy. Br J Psychiatry 2018; 212: 50–6.
13Cox, JL. Use and Misuse of the Edinburgh Postnatal depression Scale (EPDS): a ‘survival analysis’. Arch Women's Ment Health 2017; 20: 789–90.

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Thirty years with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale: voices from the past and recommendations for the future

  • John Cox (a1)
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