Are commonly used self-report inventories suitable for screening postpartum depression and anxiety disorders?

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2000 Jul;102(1):71-3. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2000.102001071.x.


Objective: The utility of several self-report symptom inventories were examined for detecting postpartum depression (MDD) and anxiety disorders (AD).

Method: Fifty women (3 or 6 months postpartum), at heightened risk for MDD, completed several depression and anxiety symptom checklists. Psychiatric diagnoses were obtained via SCID interview.

Results: Rates of MDD (n=9) and AD (n=9) were equivalent in this sample, with minimal diagnostic overlap. While all the self-report depression inventories screened accurately for MDD, none discriminated AD sensitively and reliably.

Conclusion: The frequent occurrence of AD emphasizes the need to identify appropriate screening instruments for postpartum anxiety disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Austria
  • Depression, Postpartum / complications
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • United States