Screening for Mood Difficulties in Men in Italy and Australia Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Matthey Generic Mood Questionnaire

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Calls to screen for men’s emotional health during the perinatal period have been increasing in recent times, given that emotional health screening for women is now well embedded in many clinical services. Although the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has been used for women, and also validated for men, a recent examination of this measure showed that it may not be ideal for men (or women). This study screened expectant fathers with the EPDS and a more recent measure, the Matthey Generic Mood Questionnaire, which has been designed to overcome some of the limitations of the EPDS. Expectant fathers in Italy (N = 145) and Australia (N = 185) were recruited from community antenatal clinics or classes, and these fathers completed the 2 measures. Results showed that on both measures, a meaningfully higher rate (2–8 times higher) of men in the Australian sample than men in the Italian sample screened positive for mood difficulties. The Matthey Generic Mood Questionnaire’s ability to detect a variety of negative emotions, coupled with its clinically useful questions of allowing men to express why they feel distressed, and whether they would like to speak to a health professional about this, indicates that it could be a useful measure for health services wishing to screen men for emotional difficulties in the perinatal period.

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