Name: Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS)

Source: Beck, C. A checklist to identify women at risk for developing postpartum depression. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. Jan-Feb 1998; 27(1):39-46.

Description: The PDSS is a postpartum depression screening tool written at a third-grade level to identify and refer women for treatment who might be suffering from PPD. It is a 35-item Likert-type response scale consisting of 7 domains (each of which contains 5 items): sleeping/eating disturbances, anxiety/insecurity, emotional lability, cognitive impairment, loss of self, guilt/shame, and contemplating harming oneself. The PDSS has been validated in English and Spanish by the author, but further independent psychometric studies are warranted to determine the cultural validity of this tool.

Scores: Major depressive disorder (cutoff: 80); minor depression (cutoff: 60).

Accuracy: According to a review of validated screening instruments by Boyd et al, the PDSS had the following sensitivity (testing positive), specificity (testing negative), and positive predictive values (actual disease based on 13% prevalence rates):

Sensitivity: 91%-94%

Specificity: 72%-98%

Positive predictive value: 33%-88%

Time frame: The PDSS takes 5-10 minutes to complete.*

Cost of the tool: The kit, including 25 forms and manual is $65; a package of 25 forms alone is $29.95.*

*Information provided courtesy of the National Mental Health Association.

Relevant literature about the PDSS:

Beck CT, Gable RK. Further validation of the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale. Nurs Res. 2001 May-Jun;50(3):155-164.

Beck CT, Gable RK. Postpartum Depression Screening Scale: development and psychometric testing. Nurs Res. 2000 Sep-Oct;49(5):272-282.

Boyd RC, Le HN, Somberg R. Review of screening instruments for postpartum depression. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2005;8:141-153.

Lee DT, Yip AS, Chan SS, Tsui MH, Wong WS, Chung TK. Postdelivery screening for postpartum depression. Psychosom Med. 2003 May-Jun;65(3):357-361.

Clemmens D, Driscoll JW, Beck CT. Postpartum depression as profiled through the depression screening scale. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2004 May-Jun;29(3):180-185.

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