EPDS Calculator

Created by Mariamy Chrdileli
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Adena Benn
Based on research by
Cox, J. L., Holden, J. M., & Sagovsky, R. Detection of postnatal depression. Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science (1987)
Last updated: Sep 06, 2022

Welcome to the Omni EPDS calculator, a simple and convenient tool you can use to screen for postnatal depression.

Postnatal depression affects around 10% to 15% of adult mothers yearly. Since various effective treatments are available to combat this condition, it is crucial to identify and intervene in a timely manner. If you are experiencing depressive symptomatology after giving birth, then the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression score calculator is for you. Come along and get answers to some of the critical questions, such as:

  • What is postnatal depression?
  • What is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)?
  • How is the EDPS scored?
  • How does the EPDS calculator work?
  • What are other postnatal depression screening tools? And more!

What is postnatal depression?

Postnatal depression, often referred to as postpartum depression, is a mood disorder that usually occurs during the first four weeks after childbirth. It is characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Persistent low mood;
  • Lack of energy and tiredness;
  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things;
  • Anxiety;
  • Difficulties in looking after yourself or your baby;
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness;
  • Sleep difficulties;
  • Difficulty in concentrating;
  • Excessive crying;
  • Lack of interest in your baby;
  • Thoughts of hurting your baby; and
  • Fear of not being a good mother.

Postnatal depression can last for months, although early diagnosis and intervention may help shorten the span of the condition.

🙋 Note that postnatal depression is different from "baby blues," which usually is shorter in duration (around two weeks), and symptoms do not meet the full criteria for depression.

What is the The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale?

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a self-report scale developed by J. L. Cox and colleagues to screen for postnatal depression. The EPDS takes only 5 minutes to complete and has a simple scoring. It is a valuable tool for new mothers who suspect that they have depressive symptomatology and for the routine work of community psychiatric nurses and general practitioners.

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale scoring

The EDPS scoring is quite simple. To calculate the final score:

  1. Score the response categories on a 4-point scale (i.e., 0, 1, 2, and 3). The score increases according to the increased severity of symptoms (for instance, 0 = no, not at all and 3 = yes, very often).
  2. Items besides 1, 2, and 4 are reverse-scored items (i.e., a high score indicates the opposite of depressive symptomatology). Therefore, transform each score for the rest of the items into the corresponding low score on the scale. For instance, change the score from 0 to 3.
  3. Calculate the total score by adding the points for every item.

A score above the threshold of 9 or 10 indicates possible depression. Although women who score above 12 or 13 are more likely to have depression of various severity. Additionally, if the response on the last item is anything but "never," further evaluation is strongly recommended.

How do I use the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Score calculator?

Now that you know more about the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale scoring let's discuss how to use the EPDS calculator:

  • Carefully read each item and choose an option that you think describes your feelings most accurately for the past seven days.
  • Complete all ten items for the EPDS calculator to compute the final score.
  • Try to utilize the EPDS calculator in privacy.

In the end, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Score calculator will compute your total score and suggest whether you may be experiencing possible postnatal depression.

Tips to cope with postnatal depression

Experiencing depression as a new mother is difficult, but you can cope with it in several ways!

  • Studies show that skin-to-skin contact between a mother and an infant is associated with lower depressive symptoms during the first week postpartum and marginally lower depressive symptoms during the first month postpartum.
  • Certain micronutrient deficiencies contribute to postnatal depression. Therefore, a healthy diet and supplementation plan can play an essential role during the treatment.
  • Physical activity is just as important as nutrition for dealing with postnatal depression. A meta-analysis revealed that physical activity could improve mood, body image, cardiorespiratory fitness, and decrease depression and anxiety.
  • If you tried every possible self-care method and lifestyle adjustment with no positive results, you can resort to a psychiatrist who may recommend psychotherapy, medication, or both. Certain medications, for instance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can help combat your depressive symptomatology. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can assist you in improving your condition by challenging dysfunctional thought patterns and setting manageable goals.

Postnatal screening tools similar to the Edinburgh scale

The scales you can use to screen for postnatal depression include:

  • The Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS) is a 35-item self-report questionnaire designed for new mothers of all ages and takes only 5-10 minutes to complete.
  • The Pregnancy Risk Questionnaire (PRQ) is a tool addressing antenatal (during pregnancy) and early postnatal periods.
  • Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), one of the most well-known self-report inventories. This psychometric test contains 21 questions assessing depressive symptoms such as sadness, pessimism, loss of interest and energy, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, etc.

FAQ

What is EPDS in postpartum depression screening?

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a way to screen for postpartum depression (also known as postnatal depression). The scale consists of 10 items and addresses depression-related concepts such as lack of enjoyment, anxiety, guilt, fear, excessive crying, and sleep difficulties.

What does a score of 18 represent on the Edinburgh Scale?

A score of 18 on The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale represents the possibility of postnatal depression being present. If you scored above 12 or 13 on the Edinburgh Scale, don't hesitate to seek help. Various options of effective treatments can assist you in significantly alleviating symptoms.

How do I score the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale?

To score the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale:

  1. Take items 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, and reverse indicated scores; in other words, change 0 to 3, 1 to 2, 2 to 1, and 3 to 0.
  2. After reverse-scoring, add points from each item to get a total score.
  3. That's all! A final score higher than 9 or 10 indicates the possibility of distress and depressive symptomatology.

Is postnatal depression treatable?

Postnatal depression (often referred to as postpartum depression) is a treatable condition. If you suspect you may be suffering from postnatal depression, don't hesitate to seek help. Treatment options such as psychotherapy and medication can help you to manage symptoms.

Mariamy Chrdileli
Instructions: please check the answer that comes closest to how you have felt in the past 7 days not just how you feel today.
I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things.
Select...
I have looked forward with enjoyment to things.
Select...
I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong.
Select...
I have been anxious or worried for no good reason.
Select...
I have felt scared or panicky for no very good reason.
Select...
Things have been getting on top of me.
Select...
I have been so unhappy that I have had difficulty sleeping.
Select...
I have felt sad or miserable.
Select...
I have been so unhappy that I have been crying.
Select...
The thought of harming myself has occurred to me.
Select...
Results
EPDS score
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