Detection of postnatal depression. Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Br J Psychiatry. 1987 Jun:150:782-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.150.6.782.


The development of a 10-item self-report scale (EPDS) to screen for Postnatal Depression in the community is described. After extensive pilot interviews a validation study was carried out on 84 mothers using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for depressive illness obtained from Goldberg's Standardised Psychiatric Interview. The EPDS was found to have satisfactory sensitivity and specificity, and was also sensitive to change in the severity of depression over time. The scale can be completed in about 5 minutes and has a simple method of scoring. The use of the EPDS in the secondary prevention of Postnatal Depression is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Puerperal Disorders / diagnosis*