Thirty years with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale: voices from the past and recommendations for the future

Br J Psychiatry. 2019 Mar;214(3):127-129. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2018.245.


The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was published over 30 years ago as a ten-item self-report questionnaire to facilitate the detection of perinatal depression - and for use in research. It is widely used at the present time in many regions of the world and has been translated into over 60 languages. It is occasionally misused. In this editorial, updated recommendations for optimal use in primary and secondary care as well as research are provided. Future studies to evaluate its use and validity in naturalistic community populations are now required, and to determine the psychometric properties and practical usefulness of the EPDS when completed online.Declaration of interestJ.C. has no financial interest in the use of, or reproduction of, the EPDS.

Keywords: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale; guidelines; post natal depression; screening; translations.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / history*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results