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The Swedish validation of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during pregnancy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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2011 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, E-ISSN 1502-4725, Vol. 65, no 6, 414-418 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Around 10-15% of women suffer from depressive illness during pregnancy or the first year postpartum. Depression during pregnancy constitutes a risk for prenatal stress and preterm birth. No validated screening instrument for detecting depression during pregnancy was available in Swedish.


We aimed to validate the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) against DSM-IV criteria for depression during pregnancy, establish a reliable cut-off and estimate the correlation between the EPDS and HAD-S (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale).


In a population-based community sample of 1175 pregnant women, 918 women (78%) answered questionnaires with the EPDS and HAD-S. In all, 121 were interviewed using the PRIME-MD (Primary Care Evaluation of Mental disorders) for diagnosing depression. Women were interviewed in mean gestational week 13 (range 8-21). For the EPDS, a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated for prediction of depression. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to investigate the association between EPDS and HAD-S scores.


The optimal cut-off score on the EPDS scale for detecting depression was >= 13 (standard error coefficient of 1.09 and c-statistics of 0.84) giving a sensitivity of 77% and specificity of 94%. The EPDS scores correlated strongly with the HAD-S, Pearson's correlation was 0.83 (P < 0.0001).


This study confirms that the EPDS is a valid screening instrument for detection of depressive symptoms during pregnancy. The EPDS shows persuasive measuring outcomes with an optimal cut-off at >= 13. Clinical implications: Healthcare for pregnant women should consider screening procedures and follow-up routines for depressive symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 65, no 6, 414-418 p.
Keyword [en]
Antepartum, Depression, EPDS, Pregnancy, Screening
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162439DOI: 10.3109/08039488.2011.590606ISI: 000296236800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-162439DiVA: diva2:460925
Available from: 2011-12-01 Created: 2011-11-30 Last updated: 2013-11-04Bibliographically approved

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