The Effectiveness of Interventions for the Prevention or Treatment of Paternal Perinatal Anxiety: A Systematic Review

The Effectiveness of Interventions for the Prevention or Treatment of Paternal Perinatal Anxiety: A Systematic Review

Fisher, M. L. Sutcliffe, P. Southern, C. Grove, A. L. Tan, B. K.
Journal of Clinical Medicine
Background: The worldwide prevalence of paternal perinatal anxiety (PPA) ranges between 3.4% and 25.0% antenatally, and 2.4% and 51.0% postnatally. Experiencing PPA can adversely impact the individual, partners, and infants. Research concerning PPA is lagging and fragmented compared to research for new mothers. Objectives: To establish the effectiveness of prevention or treatment interventions for PPA in adults identifying as male. Data sources: We completed searches of Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO and Web of Science from inception to 2 December 2021, as well as hand searches of references from relevant papers. Search selection and data extraction: Randomised controlled trials delivering prevention or treatment interventions and reporting anxiety outcomes for new/expectant fathers in the perinatal mental health period were included. Our review follows the PRISMA reporting guidelines. One reviewer independently screened 5170 titles/abstracts; second reviewers screened 50%. Two reviewers independently screened full text, extracted data, and conducted risk of bias assessments. Synthesis: Cochrane's collaboration tool 2 was used to assess quality. Primarily results are synthesised narratively, a post-hoc sub-group analysis was completed on four studies using the same outcome measure. Main results: Twelve of the 5170 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Studies used psychoeducational or practical skills interventions. Interventions mostly involved couple-dyads and three studies assessed PPA as a primary outcome. Included interventions were prevention-based; no treatment interventions were found. Father-only interventions consistently reported a significant reduction of PPA.

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