Screening for perinatal depression and predictors of underscreening: findings of the Born in Queensland study

Macarena A San Martin Porter, Steve Kisely and Rosa Alati
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50253
Published online: 19 August 2019

In reply: We note the concerns about the use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.1 The specific aim of our study was to explore the use of the EPDS in a general population of pregnant women given this is the tool recommended in recent Australian clinical practice guidelines.2 Our published results were therefore limited to the EPDS and could not explore the use of any other depression screening tool. As a multicultural country, Australia has to address the mental health needs of a population with different languages and backgrounds. The EPDS has been extensively researched and is an accepted and valid screening tool in different cultures and languages, not only in the postnatal period but also during pregnancy.3 Therefore, it seems to be an appropriate tool for a culturally diverse country. Translated versions of the EPDS with culturally relevant cut‐off scores are available for use in immigrant populations.2

  • 1 Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 3 Curtin University, Perth, WA.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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