- 1.As the authors correctly state, many studies use a cut-off score of ≥12 on the EPDS.2This, however, is often due to an error in these studies reporting the validation study by Cox et al,2in which ≥13 was in fact the validated cut-off score for English-speaking women in the postpartum period. This error has previously been shown to be frequent, and that a difference of just 1 point in the cut-off score does indeed have a significant impact on findings and is not just trivial.3Unfortunately this mistake is often still being made, and thus gives the impression that ≥12 is the validated cut-off score for English-speaking postpartum women, when it is not.
- 2.Venkatesh et al1used the same EPDS cut-off score for the antenatal and postnatal periods, without commenting on the research showing that different cut-off scores are required for the 2 time periods.3In addition it is important that services know that there is considerable evidence that different cut-off scores on the EPDS are required for women (and men) from different cultures.3
- 3.While Venkatesh et al1report that the EPDS data were successfully entered into the electronic medical record, this does not necessarily mean that the score that was entered was in fact correct. Services need to be aware that the accuracy of clinicians scoring the EPDS has been shown to be very poor,5even among those who provide training in the use of this scale.
- Implementation of universal screening for depression during pregnancy: feasibility and impact on obstetric care.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016; 215: 517.e1-517.e8
- Detection of postnatal depression: development of the 10 item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.Br J Psychiatry. 1987; 150: 782-786
- Variability in use of cut-off scores and formats on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale–implications for clinical and research practice.Arch Women Ment Health. 2006; 9: 309-315
- The validation of the Edinburgh Post-natal Depression Scale on a community sample.Br J Psychiatry. 1990; 157: 288-290
- Errors in scoring the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.Arch Women Ment Health. 2013; 16: 117-122
The authors report no conflict of interest.