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Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale


This 10-question scale is a valuable and efficient way of identifying patients at risk for postnatal depression. It is easy to administer and has proven to be an effective screening tool.

Mothers who score above 13 are likely to be suffering from a depressive illness of varying severity. The score should not, however, override clinical judgment; a careful clinical assessment should be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The scale indicates how the mother has felt during the previous week; in doubtful cases it may be useful to repeat the tool after 2 weeks.

The scale will not detect mothers with anxiety neuroses, phobias, or personality disorders.
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Cox, J.L., Holden, J.M. and Sagovsky, R.

Funding Sources

University of Edinburgh

QualityTool Topic



  • Release Date: 06/1987
  • Original Summary: 04/2009
Disclaimer: The inclusion of a tool in the Innovations Exchange does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or Westat of the tool or of the submitter or developer of the tool. Read more.
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Last updated: June 22, 2009.