Detecting depression after pregnancy: the validity of the K10 and K6 in Burkina Faso.


Objective: The K10 and K6 are short rating scales designed to detect individuals at risk for depressive disorder, with or without anxiety. Despite being widely used, they have not yet been validated for detecting postnatal depression. We describe the validity of these scales for the detection of postnatal depression in Burkina Faso. Method: The English language version of the K10 questionnaire was translated into West African French and local languages for use in Burkina Faso. Scores for 61 women were compared with the diagnostic interview made by a local psychiatrist within 3 days of administering the K10. Results: Clinical assessment found that 27 (44%) women were probable cases of depression. Internal consistency of K10 and K6 scores, defined by Cronbach's alpha coefficient, was 0.87 and 0.78, respectively, indicating satisfactory reliability. The performance of the scores was not significantly different, with areas under the curve of 0.77 and 0.75 for the K10 and K6, respectively. To estimate prevalence of depression, we suggest cut-offs of less than or equal to 14 for the K10 and between less than or equal to 9 and less than or equal to 11 for the K6 for identifying women at high risk of depression. At less than or equal to 14, the K10 has 59% sensitivity, 91% specificity; at less than or equal to 10, the K6 has 59% sensitivity and 85% specificity. Conclusion: This study suggests that K10 and K6 are reasonably valid measures of depression among postpartum women in Burkina Faso and can be used as relatively cheap tools for estimating prevalence of postnatal depression in developing countries.


Tropical Medicine and International Health, doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01906.x, volume 12, no. 10, pp. 1225-1229, 2007

Detecting depression after pregnancy: the validity of the K10 and K6 in Burkina Faso.

Published 1 January 2007