Predictive accuracy of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale assessment during pregnancy for the risk of developing postpartum depressive symptoms: a prospective cohort study
Article first published online: 7 APR 2014
© 2014 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 121, Issue 13, pages 1604–1610, December 2014
How to Cite
Predictive accuracy of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale assessment during pregnancy for the risk of developing postpartum depressive symptoms: a prospective cohort study. BJOG 2014;121:1604–1610., , , , , , , .
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2014
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 FEB 2014
- Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. Grant Number: 120520013
- Antenatal depression;
- postpartum depression;
- predictive accuracy
To investigate whether the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) administered antenatally is accurate in predicting postpartum depressive symptoms, and whether a two-item EPDS has similar predictive accuracy.
Prospective cohort study.
Obstetric care in the Netherlands.
One thousand six hundred and twenty women from the general population.
Mean values, area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of antenatal EPDS for the likelihood of developing postpartum depressive symptoms were calculated. Analyses were repeated for each trimester, several cut-off values and a two-item EPDS (low mood and anhedonia).
Main outcome measures
Postpartum depressive symptoms, defined as EPDS score ≥10.
Mean EPDS scores were significantly higher during each trimester in women with postpartum depressive symptoms than in those without the symptoms (P < 0.001). Using the prevailing cut-off (≥13), the AUC was reasonable (0.74), sensitivity was 16.8% (95% CI 11.0–24.1), positive predictive value was 41.8% (95% CI 28.7–55.9), specificity was 97.8% (95% CI 97.0–98.5) and negative predictive value was 92.7% (95% CI 91.3–94.0). Using a lower cut-off value (≥5), sensitivity was 70.8% (95% CI 62.4–78.3) and specificity was 65.4% 4 (95% CI 62.9–67.8), but positive predictive value was low (15.9%, 95% CI 13.1–19.0). Negative predictive value was exceedingly high at 96.0% (95% CI 94.6–97.2). Results were similar during the second and third trimester. The predictive accuracy of the two-item EPDS appeared inferior.
The EPDS was not sufficiently accurate in predicting risk of postpartum depressive symptoms. Nevertheless, when using the ≥5 cut-off value, it may be adequate for initial screening, followed by further assessments and possibly antenatal intervention when positive. Furthermore, when negative, women may be reassured that postpartum depressive symptoms are unlikely. A two-item version showed poor predictive accuracy.