Interpersonal therapy benefits pregnant women to combat depression: JAMA

United States: An original investigation published in JAMA Psychiatry has addressed the role of IPT, brief interpersonal therapy, in depression among pregnant women.

It is encouraging to mention that IPT reduces depression relatively quickly after initiation of treatment. The recipients are benefited from treatment regardless of baseline Major Depressive Disorder or MDD status, or GA at randomization. Such findings inform inclusivity of care for those who do not receive early obstetric care or depression screening and show they can still benefit from brief IPT, said Dr Benjamin L. Hankin, PhD from the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prenatal depression HAS negative consequences for both the mother and the developing fetus. To combat this, there needs to be more research and data related to Brief, effective, and safe interventions to be used during pregnancy.

The researchers investigated the effect of brief interpersonal therapy on depression during pregnancy. The study could be summarized as given below:

The study included 234 pregnant women with a mean age of 29.7 years.These women were detected to have elevated symptoms of depression at obstetrics and gynaecology screening.The location was two metro clinics in Denver, CO.Among 234 randomized participants, 115 women were included in brief interpersonal therapy (IPT): Engagement session plus eight sessions of IPT.One hundred nineteen women were randomized to Enhanced usual care (EUC), including maternity social services, consultation, education, and mental health referrals.The primary outcome measured in the study were SCL-20, 20-Item symptom checklist and Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. The assessment was done at baseline and repeatedly across pregnancy.For assessing major depression disorder at baseline and end of gestation, SCID-5, a Structured clinical interview for DSM-5, was used.

Based on the findings of our study, Brief IPT reduces prenatal depression symptoms and MDD significantly compared to the enhanced usual care among pregnant women.

We recorded SCID-5 MDD rate at the end of gestation, IPT vs EUC as 6.1 % vs 26.1 % with an odds ratio of 4.99

Further reading:

Hankin BL, Demers CH, Hennessey EP, et al. Effect of Brief Interpersonal Therapy on Depression During Pregnancy: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 19, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.0702

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