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Keywords:

  • nurses;
  • postnatal depression;
  • prenatal;
  • research instruments

Postnatal depression is a major health issue for childbearing women world-wide, as it is not always identified early. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical application of three screening instruments for the early recognition of post-partum depression, the Postpartum Depression Prediction Inventory, the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and to examine nurse interventions following use of the instruments. Data were collected at two points, at 28 weeks prenatal (107 women) and eight weeks postnatal (84 women). Results showed that 17% of the women scored significant symptoms of post-partum depression and 10–15% had a positive screen for major postnatal depression. There was a statistically significant correlation between the total score on the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Of those eight women identified as being at risk, seven had received anticipatory guidance and five had received counselling by the nurses. The Postpartum Depression Prediction Inventory enabled nurses to identify women at risk of post-partum depression and offer interventions.