Interpreting the Results of the
Maternal Mental Health Survey
The "Maternal Mental Health Survey" was adapted, with very few changes, from
the "Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale." This scale originally appeared
in "Detection of postnatal depression: The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale," by JL
Cox et al. (British Journal of Psychiatry 1987, vol. 150, pp. 782-786).
This 10-question, self-report scale has shown both reliability and validity. Each question on the
survey allows responses that earn from zero to 3 points. Questions 3 and 5 through 10 are reverse
Points are totaled to give an overall score.
A score of 12-13 is considered to indicate
Though "official" diagnosis of depression according to the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) requires the presence of five or more symptoms over a period
of at least two weeks, clinicians should not let this stand in the way of providing appropriate
treatment for women who are depressed. The patient and physician must determine together whether
or not the patients symptoms are interfering with her ability to function. If this is the
case, regardless of how many of the symptoms are present, treatment
should be initiated.
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