Background: To date, dozens of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) summarize the effectiveness of preventive interventions for perinatal depression. However, the results are inconclusive, making an urgent need to step up to higher levels of evidence synthesis. Aims: To summarize and compare the evidence from the SR&MA examining the effectiveness of all types of interventions for preventing perinatal depression. Method: PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and OpenGrey were searched from inception to December 2022. We selected SR&MA of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared all types of preventive interventions for perinatal depression with control groups whose outcome was the reduction of depressive symptoms and/or incidence of new cases of perinatal depression (PROSPERO: CRD42020173125). Results: A total of 19 SRs and MAs evaluated 152 unique RCTs that included 83,408 women from 26 countries and five continents. The median effect size for any intervention was SMD = 0.29 (95% CI: 0.20 to 0.38). Exercise/physical activity-based, psychological, and any type of intervention showed median effect sizes of 0.43, 0.28 and 0.36, respectively. The degree of overlap among RCTs was slight. According to AMSTAR-2, 79% of them were rated as low or critically low-quality. The strength of evidence, according to GRADE, was poorly reported and, in most cases, was low. Conclusions: Exercise/physical activity-based and psychological interventions have a small-to-medium effect on reducing perinatal depressive symptoms. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that dietary supplements and pharmacological interventions are effective in preventing perinatal depression. There is a need for high-quality SR&MA of RCTs, mainly focusing on universal preventive interventions.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||General Hospital Psychiatry|
|State||Published - 1 May 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Randomized control trial
- systematic review