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I guess there was some concern over finding the right tool to screen new mothers and mothers-to-be for perinatal depression, when the bill for PPD went to the legislature in Hawaii.

The Maternal and Child Health Library has a “Knowledge Path” (November 2008) about Depression During and After Pregnancy. Also included in the publication is Depression screening tools: Use in perinatal populations. (2007).  This is a chart comparing five screening tools; pros and cons of each, and in what settings to use them.

It’s important to keep in mind that a screening device does not diagnose.  It merely screens women and points out many of those who may warrant follow up, perhaps with a qualified mental health professional.  Keep in mind, the screening device is dependent on the person filling it out feeling safe enough to answer honestly.

If you or your organization screens and then isn’t sure where to refer women for support, education and referrals, contact PPD Support HI.

eta (12/5/08):  The Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative has a 45 minute online video about Perinatal Mood Disorders, including a 20 minute primer on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)  HERE.   The beginning of the EPDS portion is at 22:55.  The nurse (28:30) gives a good introduction about the EPDS to her new-mom client.  I’m tempted to list many great points in the video, but you can see them all by watching the video.