Acceptability of routine screening for perinatal depression

J Affect Disord. 2006 Jul;93(1-3):233-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2006.02.019. Epub 2006 May 2.


Background: To assess the acceptability of routine screening for perinatal depression.

Method: Postnatal women (n=860) and health professionals (n=916) were surveyed after 3 years of routine perinatal (antenatal and postnatal) use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).

Results: Over 90% of women had the screening explained to them and found the EPDS easy to complete; 85% had no difficulties completing it. Discomfort with screening was significantly related to having a higher EPDS score. A majority of health professionals using the EPDS was comfortable and found it useful.

Limitations: The sample involved only maternity services supporting depression screening. In addition, the response rate from GPs was low.

Conclusions: Routine screening with the EPDS is acceptable to most women and health professionals. Sensitive explanation, along with staff training and support, is essential in implementing depression screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, Maternity
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Midwifery
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Personality Inventory
  • Victoria