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The 3 item anxiety subscale of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale may detect postnatal depression as well as the 10 item full scale

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Does the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS-3) anxiety subscale perform as well as the full 10 item EPDS scale in screening for postnatal depression, and how do other brief screening alternatives compare?


Mothers (n = 199; 14–26 years) who made ⩾1 visit to the Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program with an infant ⩽6 months old.


Primary care paediatric clinic for children of adolescent mothers, Colorado, USA; time period not stated.


EPDS-3 brief screening tool for postnatal depression. The EPDS-3 is a subscale of the full 10 item EPDS which includes the three anxiety related items. Other brief alternatives that were compared were the depressive EPDS subscale (EPDS-7) and the two items of the EPDS that resemble the Patient Health Questionnaire (EPDS-2). The score on each scale was multiplied by 10 and divided by the number of items used, so that a cut-off of ⩾10 could be used for …

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  • Source of funding: None stated.


  • Competing interests: None.

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