Postpartum depression is common in the perinatal period and poses a risk for the development of the infant and the mother-infant relationship. Infancy is a critical developmental period of life and supportive parenting is crucial for healthy development, however, the effects of interventions aimed at improving parenting among mothers with depression are uncertain.AIMS: To assess the effects of parenting interventions on parent-child relationship and child development among mothers with depressive symptoms with 0-12-month-old infants.
We conducted a systematic review with the inclusion criteria: (a) randomised controlled trials of structured psychosocial parenting interventions for women with depressive symptoms and a child aged 0-12 months in Western Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, (b) minimum three sessions with at least half of these delivered postnatally and (c) outcomes relating to the parent-child-relationship and/or child development. Publications were extracted from 10 databases in September 2018 and supplemented with grey search and hand search. We assessed risk of bias, calculated effect sizes and conducted meta-analysis.
Eight papers representing seven trials were included. We conducted meta-analysis on the post-intervention parent-child relationship. The analysis included six studies and showed no significant effect. For individual study outcomes, no significant effects on the majority of both the parent-child relationship and child development outcomes were reported.
No evidence of the effect of parenting interventions for mothers with depressive symptoms was found on the parent-child relationship and child development. Larger studies with follow-up assessments are needed, and future reviews should examine the effects in non-Western countries.
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