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Diagnostic accuracy of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) for detecting major depression in pregnant and postnatal women: protocol for a systematic review and individual patient data meta-analyses

Abstract

Introduction Studies of the diagnostic accuracy of depression screening tools often used data-driven methods to select optimal cut-offs. Typically, these studies report results from a small range of cut-off points around whatever cut-off score is identified as most accurate. When published data are combined in meta-analyses, estimates of accuracy for different cut-off points may be based on data from different studies, rather than data from all studies for each cut-off point. Thus, traditional meta-analyses may exaggerate accuracy estimates. Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analyses synthesise data from all studies for each cut-off score to obtain accuracy estimates. The 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is commonly recommended for depression screening in the perinatal period. The primary objective of this IPD meta-analysis is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the EPDS to detect major depression among women during pregnancy and in the postpartum period across all potentially relevant cut-off scores, accounting for patient factors that may influence accuracy (age, pregnancy vs postpartum).

Methods and analysis Data sources will include Medline, Medline In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. Studies that include a diagnosis of major depression based on a validated structured or semistructured clinical interview administered within 2 weeks of (before or after) the administration of the EPDS will be included. Risk of bias will be assessed with the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 tool. Bivariate random-effects meta-analysis will be conducted for the full range of plausible cut-off values. Analyses will evaluate data from pregnancy and the postpartum period separately, as well as combining data from all women in a single model.

Ethics and dissemination This study does not require ethics approval. Dissemination will include journal articles and presentations to policymakers, healthcare providers and researchers.

Systematic review registration PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015024785.

  • MENTAL HEALTH
  • PSYCHIATRY

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Review history and Supplementary material

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