, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 67-74

Screening for postnatal depression in women of non-English speaking background

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Translations into Vietnamese and Arabic of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) were assessed to determine usefulness, acceptability and validity. Women of Arabic-speaking, Vietnamese and Anglo-Celtic background were recruited antenatally and interviewed at six weeks and six months postpartum. At each stage they completed translated versions of the EPDS and a General Health Questionnaire-30. At the two postpartum interviews, the anxiety and depression modules of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) were completed in the appropriate language. There were no significant differences among the three groups on the EPDS, but the Vietnamese and Arabic-speaking women scored significantly higher than the Anglo-Celtic subjects on the GHQ. Fewer Vietnamese mothers met criteria for major depression or anxiety disorder, and this difference was significant at six months postpartum. The EPDS translations were acceptable to the women and appear to be suitable screening instruments for postnatal distress and depression in these populations. Threshold scores for screening purposes are discussed, but a definitive statement in this regard must await further research.