Screening for Postpartum Depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the Immediate Postpartum

Claire Gilligan (2010)

This study evaluated the utility of a postpartum screening protocol to identify women at risk for Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at a local New Hampshire hospital with 94 women screened at 72 hours postpartum and again at 6 weeks. This protocol was comprised of three measures: the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS; Cox, Holden, & Sagovksy, 1987), the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R; Weiss & Marmar, 1997), and the Assessment of Delivery Questionnaire (ADQ). Stepwise discriminant function analyses showed that the validated measures (i.e., EPDS and IES-R) administered at 72 hours predicted which women were at risk for PPD and PTSD at 6 weeks, but that the new instrument (i.e., ADQ) did not add to the predictability of these disorders. Additional stepwise multiple regression analyses demonstrated the predictive relationship between scores at 72 hours and 6 weeks on both validated measures, but not for the ADQ. Overall, this study validated that both the EPDS and IES-R are clinically useful screening measures for identifying women at risk for PPD and PTSD respectively. However, future research is needed to improve the reliability of the ADQ.