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Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)

How to Use

  • Proven to be an effective screening tool to identify patients at risk for “perinatal” depression
  • Valuable, efficient and easy to administer 
  • Mother asked to check the response that comes closest to how she has been feeling in the previous 7 days – all items must be completed 
  • Answers come from the mother/pregnant woman – avoid possibility of mother discussing answers with others 
  • Mother should complete scale herself, unless she has limited English or difficulty with reading
Click here for website for the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)


How to Score

  • QUESTIONS 1, 2, & 4 (without an *): Are scored 0, 1, 2 or 3 with top box scored as 0 and the bottom box scored as 3
  • QUESTIONS 3, 5-­10 (marked with an *): Are reverse scored, with the top box scored as a 3 and the bottom box scored as 0
  • Score above 13: Likely to be suffering from a depressive illness of varying severity 

Cox JL et al. (1987) Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry 150:782-786.
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