The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was modified by adding lifetime PND screening questions, assessing worst episode, and symptom timing of onset, in order to assess the lifetime prevalence of perinatal depression.

Subjects from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) were screened using the EPDS-Lifetime. Of 682 women with lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) and a live birth, 276 (40.4%) had a positive EPDS score of >11 consistent with perinatal depression.  Independent risk factors for perinatal depression included younger age, higher education, high neuroticism, childhood trauma, and sexual abuse.

The authors report that the EPDS-Lifetime shows promise as a tool for assessing lifetime histories of perinatal depression in clinical and research settings.  This may be useful in obstetric settings to screen for women at high risk for depressive illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Meltzer-Brody S, Boschloo L, Jones I, Sullivan PF, Penninx BW.  The EPDS-Lifetime: assessment of lifetime prevalence and risk factors for perinatal depression in a large cohort of depressed women.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2013 Dec;16(6):465-73.