Author(s): J L Cox, J M. Holden, R Sagovsky (1987)
Collection Method: Self-report survey/questionnaire completed by women for symptoms of emotional distress during pregnancy and the postnatal period
Number of questions/statements: 10
Scoring Method: 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 3 and bottom box scored as 0.
A high score of 13 or more indicates the presence of distress, anxiety and depression, suggesting that a woman requires further evaluation and follow up.
- Not a diagnostic tool, but a screening measure to identify if a woman requires follow-up care and assessment
- Scores should be critically interpreted alongside clinical judgement, as a low score might not necessarily mean an absence of distress
- Requires women to provide a response as it relates to the previous 7 days of their experience
- Cultural considerations should be taken when administering the tool to cultural and linguistically diverse populations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
The EPDS is particularly useful to identify women who might be at risk of developing postnatal depression, and should be used in conjunction with formal diagnostic tools and the appropriate follow-up measures. Antenatal and postnatal support programs would find this tool particularly relevant.