Validity of the Kessler 10 (K-10) in detecting DSM-IV defined mood and anxiety disorders among pregnant women

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2009 Apr;12(2):69-74. doi: 10.1007/s00737-009-0050-0. Epub 2009 Feb 24.


It has been suggested that women experience depression most commonly in the childbearing years and that reproductive events such as pregnancy and child birth may coincide with the onset of mood and anxiety disorders in women. Therefore, a brief screening tool, with good sensitivity/specificity for psychiatric diagnoses that could be administered to pregnant women would be a valuable and useful proxy measure. We assessed the validity of the K-10, using the SCID as the gold standard, in a sample of 129 healthy pregnant women who presented for care at midwife obstetric units in Cape Town, South Africa. A receiver-operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis indicated that the K-10 showed agreeable sensitivity and specificity in detecting depression (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.66), posttraumatic stress disorder (0.69), panic disorder (0.71), and social phobia (0.76). The K-10 may be a useful screening measure for mood and anxiety disorders in pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening*
  • Midwifery
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Panic Disorder / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • ROC Curve
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • South Africa
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Young Adult