The British Journal of Psychiatry
The use of rating scales to identify post-natal depression.
B Harris, P Huckle, R Thomas, S Johns, H Fung


One hundred and forty-seven mothers were screened for major depression at six to eight weeks post-partum. Using predetermined cut-off points, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Beck scale were compared in their abilities to identify the 15% of subjects who had major depression according to DSM-III criteria. The sensitivity of Edinburgh scale was 95% and its specificity 93%. The performance of the Beck scale was markedly inferior, with a sensitivity of 68% and specificity of 88%.