Purpose: Timely and accurate detection of perinatal mental health problems is essential for the wellbeing of both mother and child. Growing evidence has suggested that the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is not a unidimensional measure of perinatal depression, but can be used to screen for anxiety disorders. Methods: We aimed to assess the factor structure of the EPDS in 3 different groups of women: n=266 pregnant women at high-risk of depression (“Perinatal Stress Study”), n=471 pregnant women from a community sample, and n=637 early postnatal women from a community sample (“developing Human Connectome Project”). Exploratory factor analysis (40% of each sample) and confirmatory factor analysis (60% of each sample) were performed. The relationship between EPDS scores and history of mental health concerns was investigated. Results: Results suggested that a 3-factor model (depression, anxiety, and anhedonia) is the most appropriate across groups. The anxiety subscale (EPDS-3A) emerged consistently and was related to maternal history of anxiety disorders in the prenatal sample (W=6861, p<.001). EPDS total score was related to history of mental health problems in both the prenatal (W=12185, p<.001) and postnatal samples (W=30044, p<.001) Conclusions: In both high-risk and community samples in the perinatal period, the EPDS appears to consist of depression, anxiety, and anhedonia subscales. A better understanding of the multi-factorial structure of the EPDS can inform diagnosis and management of women in the prenatal and postnatal period. Further research is required to validate the EPDS-3A as a screening tool for anxiety.
|Journal||Archives of Women's Mental Health|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 7 Jun 2021|
- Factor analysis