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      Reliability and Validity of Instruments for Assessing Perinatal Depression in African Settings: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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          Abstract

          Background

          A major barrier to improving perinatal mental health in Africa is the lack of locally validated tools for identifying probable cases of perinatal depression or for measuring changes in depression symptom severity. We systematically reviewed the evidence on the reliability and validity of instruments to assess perinatal depression in African settings.

          Methods and Findings

          Of 1,027 records identified through searching 7 electronic databases, we reviewed 126 full-text reports. We included 25 unique studies, which were disseminated in 26 journal articles and 1 doctoral dissertation. These enrolled 12,544 women living in nine different North and sub-Saharan African countries. Only three studies (12%) used instruments developed specifically for use in a given cultural setting. Most studies provided evidence of criterion-related validity (20 [80%]) or reliability (15 [60%]), while fewer studies provided evidence of construct validity, content validity, or internal structure. The Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS), assessed in 16 studies (64%), was the most frequently used instrument in our sample. Ten studies estimated the internal consistency of the EPDS (median estimated coefficient alpha, 0.84; interquartile range, 0.71-0.87). For the 14 studies that estimated sensitivity and specificity for the EPDS, we constructed 2 x 2 tables for each cut-off score. Using a bivariate random-effects model, we estimated a pooled sensitivity of 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68-0.99) and a pooled specificity of 0.77 (95% CI, 0.59-0.88) at a cut-off score of ≥9, with higher cut-off scores yielding greater specificity at the cost of lower sensitivity.

          Conclusions

          The EPDS can reliably and validly measure perinatal depression symptom severity or screen for probable postnatal depression in African countries, but more validation studies on other instruments are needed. In addition, more qualitative research is needed to adequately characterize local understandings of perinatal depression-like syndromes in different African contexts.

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          Most cited references 48

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          Detection of postnatal depression. Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

          The development of a 10-item self-report scale (EPDS) to screen for Postnatal Depression in the community is described. After extensive pilot interviews a validation study was carried out on 84 mothers using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for depressive illness obtained from Goldberg's Standardised Psychiatric Interview. The EPDS was found to have satisfactory sensitivity and specificity, and was also sensitive to change in the severity of depression over time. The scale can be completed in about 5 minutes and has a simple method of scoring. The use of the EPDS in the secondary prevention of Postnatal Depression is discussed.
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            A SELF-RATING DEPRESSION SCALE.

             W W Zung (1964)
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              Collaborative care for depression: a cumulative meta-analysis and review of longer-term outcomes.

              Depression is common in primary care but is suboptimally managed. Collaborative care, that is, structured care involving a greater role of nonmedical specialists to augment primary care, has emerged as a potentially effective candidate intervention to improve quality of primary care and patient outcomes. To quantify the short-term and longer-term effectiveness of collaborative care compared with standard care and to understand mechanisms of action by exploring between-study heterogeneity, we conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials that compared collaborative care with usual primary care in patients with depression. We searched MEDLINE (from the beginning of 1966), EMBASE (from the beginning of 1980), CINAHL (from the beginning of 1980), PsycINFO (from the beginning of 1980), the Cochrane Library (from the beginning of 1966), and DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness) (from the beginning of 1985) databases from study inception to February 6, 2006. We found 37 randomized studies including 12 355 patients with depression receiving primary care. Random effects meta-analysis showed that depression outcomes were improved at 6 months (standardized mean difference, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.32), and evidence of longer-term benefit was found for up to 5 years (standardized mean difference, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.001-0.31). When exploring determinants of effectiveness, effect size was directly related to medication compliance and to the professional background and method of supervision of case managers. The addition of brief psychotherapy did not substantially improve outcome, nor did increased numbers of sessions. Cumulative meta-analysis showed that sufficient evidence had emerged by 2000 to demonstrate the statistically significant benefit of collaborative care. Collaborative care is more effective than standard care in improving depression outcomes in the short and longer terms. Future research needs to address the implementation of collaborative care, particularly in settings other than the United States.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2013
                10 December 2013
                : 8
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [3 ]Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [4 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [5 ]Division of Women’s Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [6 ]Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [7 ]Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [8 ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [9 ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [10 ]Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
                University of Western Sydney, Australia
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: ACT is a member of the PLoS ONE Editorial Board. MT is a member of the PLoS Medicine Editorial Board. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

                Assisted in interpretation of the data: ACT JAS KJH JQZ LTM CP MT. Revised the manuscript for important intellectual content: ACT JAS KJH JQZ LTM CP MT. Conceived and designed the experiments: ACT. Performed the experiments: ACT JAS JQZ. Analyzed the data: ACT. Wrote the manuscript: ACT KJH.

                Article
                PONE-D-13-34425
                10.1371/journal.pone.0082521
                3858316

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funding
                The authors received no specific funding to conduct this study but acknowledge the following sources of salary support: U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) K23 MH-096620 (ACT), NIH K23 MH-095655 (LTM), NIH K23 MH-096651 (CP), and the National Research Foundation (South Africa) and the Department for International Development (MT). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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                Research Article

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