Detection of depression in women of child-bearing age in non-Western cultures: a comparison of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20 in Mongolia

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Colleges, School and Institutes


BACKGROUND: This study assesses, for the first time, the validity and internal reliability of the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the WHO Self-Reporting Questionnaire 20-item version (SRQ-20) in detecting depression in Mongolian women of reproductive age.

METHODS: 100 women age recruited from two psychiatric units specialising in depression (n = 55) and three community-based child immunisation clinics (n = 45) in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, were formally psychiatrically assessed by a clinician and by administering the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R). Each woman also completed the EPDS and SRQ-20.

RESULTS: Ninety four women provided complete data and identical optimal cut-off points for both the EPDS (11.5) and SRQ-20 (8.5) were determined against both the psychiatrist's and CIS-R based diagnosis using standard validation parameters. On all parameters the SRQ-20 performed better than the EPDS. The sensitivity of the SRQ-20 in detecting depression was 93% and the specificity 97% against the psychiatrist's diagnosis. Internal reliability was satisfactory.

LIMITATIONS: The use of a mixed clinical and community sample for validation, and a single psychiatrist may limit the generalisability of these results.

CONCLUSIONS: The SRQ-20 performed well and better than the EPDS in detecting depression in this group of Mongolian women.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-71
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Adolescent, Adult, Culture, Depression, Female, Fertility, Humans, Language, Mass Screening, Mongolia, Prevalence, Questionnaires, ROC Curve, Reproducibility of Results