J Nurs Acad Soc.  1997 Sep;27(3):588-600.

A Study on the Development of a Postrartum Depression Scale

  • 1Department of Nursing, Inje University, Korea. rich@healthis.org


Postpartum depression is one of the most serious problems in maternal health because it affects not only the mother but also her family. Postpartum depression disturbs the maternal-infant interaction and attachment. However, most postpartum depression patients ignore this problem and do not seek treatment. Many clinicians and researchers realize there is a need to develop a postpartum depression scale. Thus, this study has been designed to development of a postpartum depression scale. Data were collected through a survey over a period of three months. Subjects who participated in the study were 167 Korean mothers in their postpartum period. The author used a convenience sampling method. The analysis of the data was done with SPSS PC+ for descriptive statistics, item analysis and factor analysis. Initially 62 items were generated from the interview data of eight postpartum depression patients and from a literature review. This preliminary scale was analyzed for reliability and validity. The results of this analysis are as follows. 1. Initially 62 items were analyzed through the index of Content Validity(CVI)and 48 items were selected. 2. Seven factors were extracted through the principal component analysis, and these contributed 61% of the variance in the total score. Finally 46 items in the scale loaded .41~.84 on one of seven factors. 3. Each factor was labeled. Factor 1 was labeled 'emotional phenomena-emotional upset' and included 13 items, factor 2 was labeled 'cognitive phenomena-self concept disturbance' and included seven items, factor 3 was labeled 'relationship to baby-negative feeling' and included six items, factor 4 was labeled 'relationship to baby-overload' and included eight items, factor 5 was labeled 'negative maternal identity' and included five items, factor 6 was labeled 'biophysiological phenomena-disturbance of physical functioning' and included four items, and factor 7 was labeled 'interpersonal relationship phenomena-blamed others' and included three items. 4. Cronbach Coefficient Alpha for internal consistency was .95 for the total 46 items. Finally, the author suggests that this scale could be adequately applied in assessing the postpartum depression of mothers during the postpartum period. The results of this study can contribute to designing an appropriate postpartum depression prevention strategy.


Postpartum depression; Development of tool

MeSH Terms

Depression, Postpartum
Maternal Health
Postpartum Period
Principal Component Analysis
Reproducibility of Results
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