Objective: This study undertook to estimate the prevalence of post-partum depression in the community by means of telephone screening. Demographic correlates of post-partum depression were also investigated.
Method: The sample was identified through two community health centres. Over a period of 17 months, 1559 childbearing women were screened at six weeks post-partum, using the ten-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).
Results: The prevalence of post-partum depression was estimated to be 6.2%, using a cut point of 10 on the EPDS, and 3.4% using the more stringent cut point of 12. Women who were not working or those with lower occupational status, were at greater risk for depression. Recent immigrants, particularly those who were not working or who had given birth to a second child, were also at higher risk.
Conclusion: Telephone screening for post-partum depression is feasible, and can aid in the identification of women at risk.