What is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)?
Before we discuss how to score the , let’s briefly discuss what the scale is first.
It’s possible for mothers to become depressed during their pregnancy and after giving birth. This is referred to by healthcare professionals as postpartum depression and is considered a common problem in childbearing.
The stress and fatigue associated with childbearing and (the thought of) adjusting to motherhood can harm a mother's mental health, leading to depression to varying degrees. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was developed to assess the severity of their (possible) depression after giving birth.
This scale comes in the form of a ten-item assessment. Each item has a statement that needs to be answered by a mother who just gave birth. Here are the statements that they need to answer:
- I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things
- I have looked forward with enjoyment to things
- I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong
- I have been anxious or worried for no good reason
- I have felt scared and panicky for no perfect reason
- Things have been getting on top of me
- I have been so unhappy that I have had difficulty sleeping
- I have felt sad or miserable
- I have been so unhappy that I have been crying
- The thought of harming myself has occurred to me
How Do You Score the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)?
Each item has its own unique answer set. Mothers must pick one answer from each set based on their feelings for the last seven days before answering the scale. Each item can get a possible score of 0 to 3, and it will depend on their answer choice.
Items 1, 2, and 4 are scored 0 to 3. The answers are arranged as such:
- The first choice is worth 0 points
- The second choice is worth 1 point
- The third choice is worth 2 points
- The last choice is worth 3 points
Items 3 and 5 to 10 are scored 3 to 0, meaning they are reverse-scored. The answers are arranged as such:
- The first choice is worth 3 points
- The second choice is worth 2 points
- The third choice is worth 1 point
- The last choice is worth 0 points
You just have to add up all the scores. The possible maximum score that each patient can get is 30.
How Do You Interpret the Findings of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)?
Unlike other depression scales, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale doesn’t have several score ranges with designations. There are only two things you need to consider when interpreting the scores on the scale:
- A score of 10 to 30 means that the mother possibly has depression, so you will need to conduct a comprehensive examination of the mother to determine if they have depression or not and cross-check your findings with the most recent edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders before making a diagnosis.
- The last item deals with self-harm. If they tick the first or second answer choice, that’s a cause for concern. Even if the total score from Items 1 to 9 is 0, but they picked the first or second answer choice for Item 10, you must find a way to address their thoughts of self-harm.
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Scoring Example:
Now that you know why the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was made, what it asks from mothers answering it, how the scores are calculated, and what to consider when interpreting the final score, here’s an example of a cheat sheet containing the scoring instructions:
If you have copies of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) but don’t have scoring instructions, you can download our free Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Scoring PDT template! Or, you can download our free PDF template for the EPDS, which contains the scoring instructions!
What Are the Benefits of Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Scoring Template?
This Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Scoring template that we created is helpful because:
- It clearly states which items have answer choices are arranged regularly based on the number of points each option is worth and which items have reverse-scoring
- It indicates the specific score range that suggests if a mother possibly has (postnatal) depression
- It also gives mental healthcare professionals something to consider beyond the score mentioned above range (Item 10)
This cheat sheet is great if your copies of the EPDS don’t have scoring instructions.
Why Use Carepatron as Your Mental Health Assessment Scoring App?
Suppose you happen to be a mental healthcare professional reading this. In that case, we hope this guide helped you understand how the score of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is calculated and interpreted. We also expect our cheat sheet template for the scoring to let you record your findings when assessing mothers for postnatal depression.
While we still have you here, we’d like to ask you for your time to explore more of the Carepatron platform. We’re pretty confident that our features will convince you that we might be just the number one mental health assessment app for you!
We won’t detail all our features here, but we’d like to highlight one related to this guide you just read: our resource library. Our library houses a massive collection of clinical resources covering numerous healthcare fields and topics, especially mental health.
We have tons of assessments that you can use to assess patients for symptoms of mental health problems. We even have other kinds of depression scales like the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale, and the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11), to mention a few.
We have guides for all these and detail how they’re scored and interpreted! Plus, we have templates that you can download! All of the clinical resources we have in our library are free, so go ahead and download as much as you want and need!