Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Perinatal common mental disorders are associated with significant adverse outcomes for women and their families, particularly in low- and middle-income settings. Early detection through screening with locally-validated tools can improve outcomes. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Global Health, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Google Scholar for articles on the validation of screening tools for common mental disorders in perinatal women in India, with no language or date restrictions. Quality was assessed using the QUADAS-2 tool. We used bivariate and hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic models to calculate pooled summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity. Heterogeneity was assessed by visualising the distance of individual studies from the summary curve. RESULTS: Seven studies involving 1003 women were analysed. All studies assessed the validity of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in identifying perinatal depression. No validation studies of any other screening tools were identified. Using a common threshold of ≥13 the EPDS had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 88·9% (95%CI 77·4-94·9) and 93·4 (95%CI 81·5-97·8), respectively. Using optimal thresholds (range ≥ 9 to ≥13) the EPDS had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 94·4% (95%CI 81·7-98·4) and 90·8 (95%CI 83·7-95·0), respectively. CONCLUSION: The EPDS is psychometrically valid in diverse Indian settings and its use in routine maternity care could improve detection of perinatal depression. Further research is required to validate screening tools for other perinatal common mental disorders in India.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC Psychiatry

Publication Date





Common mental disorder, India, Low- and middle-income country (LMIC), Perinatal, Screening, Systematic review, Validation, Depression, Postpartum, Female, Humans, India, Mass Screening, Maternal Health Services, Postpartum Period, Pregnancy, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales