Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbearing. The 10-question Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a valuable and efficient way of identifying patients at risk for perinatal depression. The EPDS is easy to administer and has proven to be an effective screening tool.

Total number of questions


Administration method


Standardized cadence

Every week

Age range




Scoring and interpretation

A clinical cutoff score of 10 is used to distinguish health controls versus possible depression. Higher scores indicate greater levels of postpartum depression. Mothers who score above 13 are likely to be suffering from a depressive illness of varying severity. The EPDS score should not override clinical judgment. A careful clinical assessment should be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. Always look at item 10 (suicidal ideation).

Reliability and validity

The overall reliability (Cronbach's alpha) of the EPDS has been found to be adequate, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.79. A significant correlation between EPDS and other measures of depression have been identified.

Additional information

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