PMAD’s are a global health crisis that impact 1 in 7 families worldwide. They are the number one complication of giving birth and are consistently listed as one of the top three causes of maternal suicide. According to the National Coalition of Maternal Mental Health (MMH), “pregnant women and mothers in the postpartum period are not routinely screened for maternal mental health disorders, though there are recommended screening tools. This is largely due to a shortage of and the inability for screening providers to easily find qualified healthcare providers who can provide necessary treatment...”
It is important to note that the EPDS screening tool tracks how a patient has been feeling IN THE PAST 7 DAYS, and not how they are feeling the day they are taking it. Each question has 4 multiple choice answers, that when scored correctly, can detect depression and also anxiety.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a self-administered 10 question tool approved and validated for both ante/postnatal women (and their partners). For clinics and screeners, there are scoring instructions on the reverse side of the scale. The EPDS is written so patients do not feel that they are unwell, it becomes part of the comprehensive care package of the office; we screen for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and maternal mental health across the board.
Here are the first two questions:
1. I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things.
2. I have looked forward with enjoyment to things.
Contact us for a paper copy in its entirety or look it up online!
1. It is short - 10 items
2. It is self-administered
3. It is literacy sensitive - written at a 6th grade reading level
4. It asks questions in a way that minimizes possible self-consciousness or stigma around the idea of being "unwell."
5. It is sensitive to anxiety which is often a twin of depression
6. It is sensitive over time for longitudinal data collection
7. It is approved and validated in 75 languages
8. It is culturally specific in all the languages offered
9. It is approved and validated for use with both pregnant and postpartum women
10. It is approved and validated for use with spouses/partners
11. It is approved for detecting depression occurring at other times in life including after miscarriage