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.