Great New Screening Tool Available

As reported in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health Vol. 11 No. 4 2008, there is an article written by some of PPD’s leading researchers, Lori Altshuler, Lee Cohen, Allison Vitonis, Stephen Faraone, Bernard Harlow, Rita Suri, Richard Frieder and Zachary Stowe: The Pregnancy Depression Scale (PDS): a screening tool for depression in pregnancy.

The authors point out that although the Edinburgh has been validated for use during pregnancy, a scale specific to depression during pregnancy will be far more accurate in screening women during pregnancy which will not only address the needs of these women now, but will help protect them during the postpartum period as well. The authors note that for the 13-20% of women with depressive symptoms in pregnancy, there are adverse risks which can include: low birth weight, pre-term delivery, self-medicating and they may be at greater risk for C-sections as well as postpartum depression. Early identification of women with depression has widespread implications for the OB practice as well as clinicians who treat perinatal mood disorders.

The scale is a seven-item scale with a maximum score of 26. (12-15=50% chance of depression, >16=likelihood of meeting criteria for depression)

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