Perinatal anxiety and depression are common and associated with negative outcomes if left untreated. Internet-delivered treatments can improve treatment accessibility and have demonstrated effectiveness in treating anxiety and depression in the general adult population. However, little is known about how effective and acceptable these interventions are for perinatal women. This paper describes a systematic review and preliminary meta-analysis of internet-delivered psychological interventions for the treatment of clinical anxiety and depression in perinatal women. A systematic search was carried out of seven electronic databases. Seven studies evaluating six distinct internet-delivered psychological interventions were identified. Of the seven studies included, two were open trials and five were randomized controlled trials with a total of 595 participants. Preliminary findings indicate large improvements in depression (Hedges g = 1.67; 95% CI 1.38-1.96) and anxiety (Hedges g = 1.08; 95% CI 0.80-1.36) from pre- to post-treatment. However, between-group differences between interventions and control conditions were only moderate for depression (Hedges g = 0.60; 95% CI 0.43-0.78) and anxiety (Hedges g = 0.54; 95% CI 0.24-0.85). While our preliminary findings are promising, this review identifies an area of research still in its early stages with significant gaps in the literature that need to be addressed. Further research is needed to establish the efficacy and acceptability of these interventions in this population, especially for antenatal depression and anxiety disorders.
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