Mental Illness Awareness Week

In continued honour of mental illness awareness week, I am posting the EPDS (Edinburgh Postnatal Scale) here at Sharing the Journey. It is one of the standard screening tools for new mothers – and is not used often enough by practioners here in the States. 

If you are a new mother experiencing problems or know a new mother who is, please use this self screening tool or pass it on to someone who needs to use it by printing it for them. This particular version was found at www.wellmother.com.

Instructions for users:

  1. The mother is asked to underline the response which comes closest to how she has been feeling in the previous 7 days.
  2. All ten items must be completed.
  3. Care should be taken to avoid the possibility of the mother discussing her answers with others.
  4. The mother should complete the scale herself, unless she has limited English or has difficulty with reading.
  5. The EPDS may be used at 6-8 weeks to screen postnatal women. The child health clinic, postnatal check-up or a home visit may provide suitable opportunities for its completion.

Name: _______________________________
Address:  ___________________________________________________
Baby’s Age: __________________
As you have recently had a baby, we would like to know how you are feeling. Please UNDERLINE the answer which comes closest to how you have felt IN THE PAST 7 DAYS, not just how you feel today.

  1. I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things.
    As much as I always could
    Not quite so much now
    Definitely not so much now
    Not at all
  2. I have looked forward with enjoyment to things.
    As much as I ever did
    Rather less than I used to
    Definitely less than I used to
    Hardly at all
  3. * I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong.
    Yes, most of the time
    Yes, some of the time
    Not very often
    No, never
  4. I have been anxious or worried for no good reason.
    No, not at all
    Hardly ever
    Yes, sometimes
    Yes, very often
  5. * I have felt scared or panicky for not very good reason.
    Yes, quite a lot
    Yes, sometimes
    No, not much
    No, not at all
  6. * Things have been getting on top of me.
    Yes, most of the time I haven’t been able to cope at all
    Yes, sometimes I haven’t been coping as well as usual
    No, most of the time I have coped quite well
    No, I have been coping as well as ever
  7. * I have been so unhappy that I have had difficulty sleeping.
    Yes, most of the time
    Yes, sometimes
    Not very often
    No, not at all
  8. * I have felt sad or miserable.
    Yes, most of the time
    Yes, quite often
    Not very often
    No, not at all
  9. * I have been so unhappy that I have been crying.
    Yes, most of the time
    Yes, quite often
    Only occasionally
    No, never
  10. * The thought of harming myself has occurred to me.
    Yes, quite often
    Sometimes
    Hardly ever
    Never

Response categories are scored 0, 1, 2, and 3 according to increased severity of the symptoms. Items marked with an asterisk are reverse cored (i.e. 3, 2, 1, and 0). The total score is calculated by adding together the scores for each of the ten items. Users may reproduce the scale without further permission providing they respect copyright by quoting the names of the authors, the title and the source of the paper in all reproduced copies.

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