Meta-analysis suggests cognitive behavioural therapy is effective in postnatal depression

  • Huang L & al.
  • PLoS ONE
  • 1 Jan 2018

  • from Sarfaroj Khan
  • Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) improved the symptoms and progression of postnatal depression compared with usual care, home visiting, waitlist control or other conventional treatment.

Why this matters

  • High-quality randomised controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 20 randomised controlled trials including 3623 participants with postnatal depression compared CBT with the control group (usual care, home visiting, waitlist control or other conventional treatment).
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • CBT significantly improved Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score vs control group in both short-term (standardised mean difference [SMD], −2.86; P<.05 and long-term p>
  • CBT significantly improved short-term (MD, −6.30; P<.05 and long-term p scores of beck depression inventory.>
  • Sub-group analysis:
    • In-home CBT significantly reduced in short-term (SMD, −0.97; P<.01 and long-term p epds.>
    • Telephone-based therapy also showed a significant reduction in short-term (SMD, −7.50; 95% CI, −8.06 to −6.94) and long-term (SMD, −2.62; 95% CI, −2.89 to −2.35) EPDS.
  • The number of women cured of postnatal depression was significantly higher in CBT vs control group in short-term (OR, 6.57; P<.05 and long-term p>

Limitations

  • Heterogeneity across studies.