Early screening of postpartum depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Haviva Sharan, Boris Kaplan, Nehama Weizer, Jaqueline Sulkes, Paul Merlob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of the study was to examine the feasibility of applying the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in hospital, soon after delivery, to identify women at risk of postpartum depression. Methods: The study sample included 278 healthy, married women after an uncomplicated pregnancy: 121 primiparas, 109 multiparas, and 48 mothers of slightly preterm (34-36 weeks) infants. Participants were asked to complete the self-report EPDS and an ad hoc sociodemographic scale in hospital, on day 2 after vaginal delivery or on day 4 after caesarean section. Infant-related data were taken from the medical files. Results: There were significant differences among the groups in all the background variables except education and ethnic origin. No significant difference was observed in the birth-related variables (gestational age, birth weight, infant sex) except type of delivery. Mean scores on the EPDS were similar in the three groups. Scores above the mean ±2SD were documented in 4% of the primiparas, 3% of the multiparas, and 11% of the mothers of slightly preterm infants. These differences were not significant. Variables found to be associated with less or no depression were longer duration of marriage, vaginal delivery, full-term gestation, male infant, and rooming-in. Conclusions: Women with an EPDS score above the mean ±2SD might be at risk for depression and should be carefully followed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • Early screening
  • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
  • Postpartum depression


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