Subscales measuring symptoms of non-specific depression, anhedonia, and anxiety in the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
2008 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 153–169, June 2008
How to Cite
Tuohy, Alan. and McVey, Cynthia. (2008), Subscales measuring symptoms of non-specific depression, anhedonia, and anxiety in the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47: 153–169. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.2008.tb00463.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
- Received 3 April 2007; revised version received 6 August 2007
There has been considerable research and clinical interest in the comorbidity of anxiety and depression in the post-partum period, and specifically in the possibility that the commonly used Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) incorporates an anxiety component. We hypothesized that the recommended version of factor analysis (Fabrigar, Wegener, MacCallum, & Strahan, 1999) would identify such covert dimensions more reliably than the commonly used principal components analysis with varimax rotation and eigenvalues greater than 1.
Principal axis factor extraction with parallel analysis and oblique (direct quartimin) factor rotation was applied to the 10 EPDS items.
The study used a sample of recent mothers recruited and assessed via e-mail and the Internet (N = 440). In addition to the EPDS, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scales (PANAS) were also administered.
Three factors were found, which were identified as ‘non-specific depressive symptoms’, ‘anhedonia’, and ‘anxietal symptoms’ subscales, respectively. These subscales were regressed on the HADS anxiety and depression and the PANAS positive and negative affectivity scales, with results substantially consistent with current structural models of the taxonomy of the emotional disorders.
The data were obtained from a self-selected non-clinical sample. In addition, it is known that the use of computer-based assessment may tend to inflate self-report scores.
It was concluded that there is now sufficient evidence that clinicians should not assume the EPDS to be unidimensional, but should assess all three subscales when screening for susceptibility to post-partum depression and/or post-partum anxiety.