Self- screening using the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale for mothers and fathers to initiate early help seeking behaviours

Karen Leigh Edward, Jo Ann Giandinoto, John Stephenson, Cally Mills, Judelle McFarland, David Castle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The forthcoming birth of a new baby and the life changes that occur can present parents with a range of challenges.
While recognised in mothers, postnatal depression is not well researched in fathers; especially considering that up to 25% of men report experiencing depression in the ante and postnatal periods. The aim of this study was to test a self screening tool and referral pathway pamphlet for expectant women and their partners. We used a single blinded randomised controlled study design. The sample, comprised 70 dyads, was randomised to either care as usual or to
the self-screening tool and referral pathway pamphlet intervention. The self-screening tool included the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Other questionnaires used to survey the dyads were the Kessler Psychological
Distress (Kessler-10) and the Maternity Social Support Scale (MSSS). The gender differences in the EPDS, Kessler-10 and MSSS scales are represented by differences of 1.0 points on EPDS, 1.0 points on Kessler-10, fathers were reporting less psychological distress than mothers in all cases. No difference was observed in perceived social support. The attrition between time-points was mostly men. Cultural and socio-demographic factors may affect generalisability of the findings. The self-screening tool and referral pathway pamphlet provided to dyads may have some benefit in assisting couples in the perinatal period to detect and seek help for early symptoms of distress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-427
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Psychiatric Nursing
Issue number4
Early online date25 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


Cite this