Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale used in South Korea

Rora Oh, Young Ho Khang, Yu Mi Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), a validated screening tool for prenatal and postnatal depression, was included as a reimbursable item by the National Health Insurance Service of Korea in 2020. However, multiple Korean versions of the EPDS are used for public health programs and research. This study aimed to summarize the use of this scale in Korea and evaluate the distribution of validities, depression scores, and prevalence of depression according to Korean versions of the EPDS. Methods: Korean versions of the EPDS most frequently used in public health policies and programs were summarized through internet searches using snowball strategy. A systematic literature review was conducted to evaluate the prenatal and postnatal depression scores and prevalence of depression measured using different Korean versions of the scale. Results: We identified four Korean versions of the EPDS that are commonly used in public health programs and research. Among them, published evidence regarding validity and reliability was available for two versions. A review of 19 papers that assessed prenatal and postnatal depression using these versions showed large heterogeneity in scores and the prevalence of depression. Conclusion: When measuring prenatal and postnatal depression using the EPDS, characteristics of the scale must be considered when interpreting results. A standardized Korean version of the EPDS needs to be developed by comparing the validity and reliability of different Korean versions. A field manual for screening should also be developed and distributed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-710
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Edinburgh postnatal depression scale
  • Postpartum depression
  • Republic of Korea


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