Study published: Effectiveness of CBT for maternal perinatal depression


In a study recently published in BMC Psychiatry, the researchers investigate if interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are effective for perinatal depression. They found that CBT-based interventions are effective for symptoms of depression.Woman with clasped hands.

It is common for mothers to experience psychological problems during a pregnancy and/or after the child is born, which is associated with risks and difficulties for the mother, child, family, and society at large.

The study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of CBT for perinatal depression and secondary outcomes like stress and anxiety. The researchers also explore if the professional background of the person delivering or supporting the intervention is associated with effectiveness. For example, if it is a mental health provider, health provider, or a non-specialist, for example, a peer supporter, who delivers or supports the intervention.

The researchers conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis of 31 and 26 studies, respectively. They found that CBT-based interventions for perinatal depression are effective both during pregnancy and the postnatal period for symptoms of depression. Further, they found that the type of professional delivering or supporting the intervention was of significance, but that further research is required to strengthen this conclusion.

Read the full article ’Effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy‑based interventions for maternal perinatal depression: a systematic review and meta‑analysis’. It is written by Danelle Pettman, Heather O’Mahen, Oscar Blomberg, Agneta Skoog Svanberg, Louise von Essen, and Joanne Woodford.

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Last modified: 2023-03-24