NYMC Faculty Publications

Postpartum Depression Screening Tools: A Review

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January 2018


Obstetrics and Gynecology


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the accuracy of screening tools in detecting postpartum depression (PPD). METHODS: A review of the literature was conducted using PubMed, Clinical Key, and Google Scholar from the years 2001-2016 with a modified PRISMA method. The keywords, "postnatal depression screening," "antenatal depression screening," and "maternal depression" were used in the search. Sixty-eight articles were reviewed, and 36 further analyzed. RESULTS: The accuracy of screening tools was dependent upon a number of factors. The studies reviewed differed in the types of screening tools tested, the combination of screening tools administered, the timing in which screening tools were administered, the geographic location of patients screened, and the reference standard(s) used. CONCLUSIONS: No tool could be deemed best at accurately detecting PPD on the basis of sensitivity and specificity. Additionally, there was no recommended time duration in which screening should be done. Thus, further research is needed to elucidate the accuracy of PPD screening tools, and the best criteria to determine this.