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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board Member: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.346
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.310
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.660

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Drawing the line in the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS): a vital decision

1 / Margaretha Magnusson1, 2 / Claes Sundelin1, 2

1Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Uppsala University, Children's Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden

2Central Unit for Child Health Care, Uppsala County, Uppsala, Sweden

Corresponding author: Dagmar Lagerberg, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Uppsala University, Children's Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden Phone: +46-18-6115973, Fax: +46-18-504511

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278 , ISSN (Print) 0334-0139 , DOI: 10.1515/ijamh.2011.005, March 2011

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Background: The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is widely used in early child health care. This study examined the appropriateness of the recommended EPDS cut-off score 11/12.

Methods: Two main analyses were performed: 1. Associations between EPDS scores and maternal health behaviour, stress, life events, perceived mother-child interaction quality and child behaviour. 2. Screening parameters of the EPDS, i.e., sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value. EPDS scores were available for 438 mothers and maternal questionnaires for 361 mothers.

Results: Already in the EPDS score intervals 6–8 and 9–11, there were notable adversities, according to maternal questionnaires, in stress, perceived quality of mother-child interaction, perceived child difficultness and child problem behaviours. Using maternal questionnaire reports about sadness/distress postpartum as standard, the recommended EPDS cut-off score 11/12 resulted in a very low sensitivity (24%). The cut-off score 6/7 yielded a sensitivity of 61%, a specificity of 82% and a positive predictive value of 61%.

Conclusions: In terms of both clinical relevance and screening qualities, an EPDS cut-off score lower than 11/12 seems recommendable.

Keywords: intervention; postnatal depression; psychosocial factors; screening

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