Review of screening instruments for postpartum depression

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2005 Sep;8(3):141-53. doi: 10.1007/s00737-005-0096-6. Epub 2005 Sep 5.


This paper presents a review and discussion of eight self-report measures used to assess for depressive symptoms in the postpartum period. Because postpartum depression is a significant mental health problem, there is a need for reliable and valid screening instruments. Published psychometric data (e.g., reliability, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, concurrent validity) of each self-report instrument are presented and critiqued. Results suggest that the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is the most extensively studied measure with postpartum women with moderate psychometric soundness. This review illustrates the need for more research in this area. Issues involved in the selection of measures are considered. Implications for clinical practice, research, culture and language are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Disclosure
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*