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Global Health
September 18, 2013

Improving the Mental Health of Perinatal Women

JAMA. 2013;310(11):1113. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278240

Mental health interventions can lower the burden of common perinatal mental health disorders in women in low- and middle-income countries, according to a report from an international group of researchers (Rahman A et al. Bull World Health Organ. 2013;91:593-601).

The reviewers analyzed 13 trials that examined mental health interventions in low- and middle-income countries that either targeted women during pregnancy and after childbirth or measured mental health outcomes up to 36 months postpartum. In total there were 20 092 participants in the studies, and all but 1 study looked at interventions from supervised nonspecialist health and community workers. The main outcomes assessed were maternal mental health, mother-infant relationship, and infant or child cognitive development and health. All the studies found that the interventions with the community workers were more beneficial for both mothers and children than routine care.