Depressive disorder affecting women during the perinatal period is common in low-income countries. The detection and study of maternal depression in a resource-poor setting requires a brief screening tool that is both accurate and practical to administer.
A Chichewa version of the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ) was developed through a rigorous process of forward and back translation, focus-group discussion and piloting. Criterion validation was conducted as part of a larger study in a sample of women who had brought their infants to a child health clinic in rural Malawi, using DSM-IV major and minor depressive episode as the gold standard diagnoses.
The criterion validation was conducted on 114 subjects who did not differ on health and sociodemographic characteristics from the total study sample (n=501). Test characteristics for each possible SRQ cut-off were calculated and Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curves derived. Area under the ROC curve (AUROC) for detection of current major depressive disorder was 0.856 (95% CI 0.813 to 0.900), and for current major or minor depressive disorder was 0.826 (95% CI 0.783 to 0.869). Internal consistency of the SRQ was high (Cronbach's alpha 0.85).
Inter-rater reliability testing was not conducted.
This Chichewa version of the SRQ shows utility as a brief screening measure for detection of probable maternal depression in rural Malawi.