September 2, 2008

New postpartum depression scale may be effective in screening new moms

Researchers in Denver just announced that simply by asking three simple questions, doctors can tell whether or not a new mom may be suffering from postpartum depression.  This new three question screening process is basically a sub-scale of the traditional Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale that is commonly used.  Instead of asking a boat load of questions to a new mom who is most likely completely sleep-deprived, stressed, distracted and has an attention span of a toddler, this new scale contains only these three yes/no questions:

1) I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong.
2) I have felt scared or panicky for not very good reason.
3) I have been anxious or worried for not very good reason.

Apparently, in the study, this shorter PPD depression scale identified 16% more mothers as being depressed than the longer, Edinburgh questionnaire.

Personally, I see merit in the study and am so glad that PPD is receiving this kind of attention to detail.  However, had I taken the above test, I would not have been diagnosed, as my symptoms were all physical (mainly GI-related) and I had no idea that I felt anxious or scared or panicky.  I just wondered why I couldn't stop vomiting or feeling nauseous or dizzy all the time.

Much still needs to be done to educate our medical providers on just what the symptoms of depression are and how to more effectively reach those who are have so deeply fallen into a dark place that they are unable to seek help.

To read a complete article on the study, please visit EmpowHer, the world's greatest health site for women!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this application on Itunes called Sad Scale is able to increase awareness of the disease and help people with postpartum depression.