BACKGROUND We evaluated the utility of the Chinese version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and measured the prevalence of major depression six weeks after confinement among Chinese women in Hong Kong.
METHOD A prospective cohort of 145 women completed the EPDS, the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) six weeks after giving birth. They were then assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R, non-patient version (SCID-NP) to establish psychiatric diagnosis. The criterion validity of EPDS was tested against this clinical diagnosis, and the concurrent validity against the GHQ and BDI scores was also evaluated. The internal consistency of the scales was measured by Cronbach's alpha coefficient.
RESULTS The Chinese EPDS had satisfactory psychometric properties and a cut-off score of 9/10 is recommended for screening depressive illness in a general postnatal population. At six weeks postpartum, 5.5% of the study population suffered from major depression.
CONCLUSIONS The Chinese EPDS will be useful for screening for postnatal depression.