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Perinatal PsychiatryThe legacy of Channi Kumar$
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Carmine Pariante, Sue Conroy, Paola Dazzan, Louise Howard, Susan Pawlby, and Trudi Seneviratne

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199676859.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Personal reflections on the early development of the EPDS

Personal reflections on the early development of the EPDS

Chapter 3 (p.18) Personal reflections on the early development of the EPDS
Perinatal Psychiatry

John Cox

Oxford University Press

Shortly after returning to the London Hospital from Uganda in 1974, and still jet-lagged and culture-shocked, I had an unexpected call from a Dr Kumar at the Maudsley Hospital whose name was then unfamiliar to me. Stephen Wolkind (Child Psychiatrist at the London Hospital working with Professor Pond) had informed him that I had completed a study of postnatal depression in East Africa and had used Goldberg’s Standardised Psychiatric Interview (SPI) translated into Luganda. Could we meet, and could I advise him on the use of the SPI? I was surprised, flattered and motivated by this request. We met in Turner St, London E1. This was the beginning of a friendly and mutually respectful collaboration, which facilitated the later development of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) (Cox et al. 1987), helped launch the 1980 meeting in Manchester, when the Marce? Society was founded, and motivated Phase One of the International Transcultural Postnatal Depression Study. Channi Kumar was a fine team player, and as a leader had that knack of making you feel respected and at ease. His greeting ‘Come in dear boy and have a seat’ when he ushered you to a chair piled high with research papers, was characteristic of his style and productivity. We would then talk, not only about screening scales, but about College matters and the Perinatal Special Interest Group (which later became a Specialty Section), as well as our ‘Blue Skies’ research programmes. My interest in perinatal psychiatry began when, as an impressionable medical student, I first met Brice Pitt at Claybury Hospital. He was carrying out a study of ‘atypical’ postnatal depression and was devising a self-report questionnaire to detect increases in depression scores after birth. This early experience, together with a postgraduate seminar some years later, must surely have been on my mind when I was asked by Allen German on my arrival in Uganda, what research I was planning to do. I replied that I wished to replicate Assael’s finding (1972) that a quarter of pregnant women at Kasangati had mental health problems, and I was curious to know whether African women experienced depression as described by Pitt (1968)—and if not, what were the differences.

Keywords:   Anxiety and Depression Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), International Transcultural Postnatal Depression Study, Irritability, Depression and Anxiety Scale (IDA), Standardised Psychiatric Interview (SPI), Uganda, maternal depression, Walton, Henry, Winokur, George

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