Introduction Instruments designed to assess various aspects of mental health are commonly administered to women during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. The sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values of these instruments vary across study methodologies. The primary objective was to test the hypothesis that a single self-report emotional health question is effective in identifying women at risk of developing depression, anxiety or stress. The secondary objective was to describe how mental health instruments categorise women who report their emotional health as positive or negative.
Methods Questionnaires were administered to participants in a community cohort study (N=1550) at three time points: prior to 24 weeks gestation, between 32 and 36 weeks gestation, and 4 months postpartum. At each time point women completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Speilberger State Anxiety Scale and Perceived Stress Scale and rated their emotional health as either “Excellent,” “Very good,” “Good,” “Fair,” or “Poor.” Responses to this question were compared to the results from each of the mental health instruments.
Results The single emotional health question is significantly correlated to the results of each of the longer instruments (p<0.001). The positive predictive value of the single question in comparison to the instrument conclusion is approximately 81% during pregnancy and 71% postpartum. The negative predictive value of the single question is approximately 86% during pregnancy and 91% postpartum.
Conclusion A single self-report emotional health question may be a valid method of screening women during pregnancy and early postpartum for depression, anxiety and stress.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.