Are commonly used self-report inventories suitable for screening postpartum depression and anxiety disorders?

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Objective:The utility of several self-report symptom inventories were examined for detecting postpartum depression (MDD) and anxiety disorders (AD).Method:Fifty women (3 or 6 months postpartum), at heightened risk for MDD, completed several depression and anxiety symptom checklists. Psychiatric diagnoses were obtained via SCID interview.Results:Rates of MDD (n = 9) and AD (n = 9) were equivalent in this sample, with minimal diagnostic overlap. While all the self-report depression inventories screened accurately for MDD, none discriminated AD sensitively and reliably.Conclusion:The frequent occurrence of AD emphasizes the need to identify appropriate screening instruments for postpartum anxiety disorders.

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