Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Effects of treating postnatal depression on mother-infant interaction and child development: Systematic review

  • Amudha S. Poobalan (a1), Lorna S. Aucott (a2), Louise Ross (a1), W. Cairns. S. Smith (a2), Peter J. Helms (a3) and Justin H. G. Williams (a3)...
Abstract
Background

Postnatal depression has detrimental effects on the child's cognitive and emotional development.

Aims

To assess the benefits of treating postnatal depression for mother–infant interaction and child development.

Method

A systematic search was made of 12 electronic bibliographic databases for randomised controlled trials and controlled clinical trials on treatment of mothers with postnatal depression, where outcomes were assessed in children; findings were assessed.

Results

Only eighttrials met the inclusion criteria. Of those included, interventions varied widely but all involved therapies directed at the mother–infant relationship. One study with intensive and prolonged therapy showed cognitive improvement, whereas two others with briefer interventions improved maternal–infant relationships but did not affect the child's cognitive or behavioural development. All five studies assessing only mother–infant relationships showed improvements.

Conclusions

Cognitive development in children of depressed mothers, along with better mother–infant relationships, might be improved with sustained interventions. Trials assessing treatments for postnatal depression would benefit from looking more closely at benefits for children as well as mothers, using validated objective measures.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Effects of treating postnatal depression on mother-infant interaction and child development
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Effects of treating postnatal depression on mother-infant interaction and child development
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Effects of treating postnatal depression on mother-infant interaction and child development
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Amudha Poobalan, Department of Public Health, Medical School, Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1224 555 934; fax: +44 (0)1224 550 925; email: a.poobalan@abdn.ac.uk
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Appleby, L., Warner, R., Whitton, A., et al (1997) A controlled study of fluoxetine and cognitive-behavioural counselling in the treatment of postnatal depression. BMJ, 314, 932936.
Austin, M. P. (2004) Antenatal screening and early intervention for ‘perinatal’ distress, depression and anxiety: where to from here? Archives of Women's Mental Health, 7, 16.
Brockington, I. (2004) Postpartum psychiatric disorders. Lancet, 363, 303310.
Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F. A. & Toth, S. L. (2000) The efficacy of toddler-parent psychotherapy for fostering cognitive development in offspring of depressed mothers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 28, 135148.
Clark, R., Tluczek, A. & Wenzel, A. (2003) Psychotherapy for postpartum depression: a preliminary report. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 73, 441454.
Coates, A. O., Schaefer, C. A. & Alexander, J. L. (2004) Detection of postpartum depression and anxiety in a large health plan. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 31, 117133.
Cooper, P. J., Murray, L., Wilson, A., et al (2003) Controlled trial of the short- and long-term effect of psychological treatment of post-partum depression. I. Impact on maternal mood. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 412419.
Dennis, C. L. (2005) Psychosocial and psychological interventions for prevention of postnatal depression: systematic review. BMJ, 331, 15.
Glover, V., Onozawa, K. & Hodgkinson, A. (2002) Benefits of infant massage for mothers with postnatal depression. Seminars in Neonatology, 7, 495500.
Hart, S., Field, T. & Nearing, G. (1998) Depressed mothers’ neonates improve following the MABI and a Brazelton demonstration. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 23, 351356.
Hay, D. F., Pawlby, S., Angold, A., et al (2003) Pathways to violence in the children of mothers who were depressed postpartum. Developmental Psychology, 39, 10831094.
Horowitz, J. A., Bell, M., Trybulski, J., et al (2001) Promoting responsiveness between mothers with depressive symptoms and their infants. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 33, 323329.
Jadad, A. R., Moore, A. R., Carroll, D., et al (1996) Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: is blinding necessary? Controlled Clinical Trials, 17, 112
Josefsson, A., Berg, G., Nordin, C., et al (2001) Prevalence of depressive symptoms in late pregnancy and postpartum. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 80, 251255.
Kim-Cohen, J., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., et al (2005) Maternal depression and children's antisocial behavior: nature and nurture effects. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 173181.
Meager, I. & Milgrom, J. (1996) Group treatment for postpartum depression: a pilot study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 30, 852860.
Misri, S., Kostaras, X., Fox, D., et al (2000) The impact of partner support in the treatment of postpartum depression. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 45, 554558.
Murray, L. & Cooper, P. J. (1996) The impact of postpartum depression on child development. International Review of Psychiatry, 8, 55.
Murray, L., Sinclair, D., Cooper, P., et al (1999) The socioemotional development of 5-year-old children of postnatally depressed mothers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 40, 12591271.
Murray, L., Cooper, P., Hipwell, A., et al (2003a) Mental health of parents caring for infants. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 6 (suppl. 2), S71S77.
Murray, L., Cooper, P. J., Wilson, A., et al (2003b) Controlled trial of the short- and long-term effect of psychological treatment of post-partum depression: 2. Impact on the mother-child relationship and child outcome. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 420427.
O'Hara, M. W. & Swain, A. M. (1996) Rates and risk of postpartum depression – a meta-analysis. International Review of Psychiatry, 8, 3754.
O'Hara, M. W., Stuart, S., Gorman, L. L., et al (2000) Efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy for postpartum depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 10391045.
Ogrodniczuk, J. S. & Piper, W. E. (2003) Preventing postnatal depression: a review of research findings. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 11, 291307.
Onozawa, K., Glover, V., Adams, D., et al (2001) Infant massage improves mother–infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 63, 201207.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (2002) Postnatal Depression and Puerperal Psychosis. A National Clinical Guideline. SIGN publication 60. Scottish Executive Health Department.
Sharp, D., Hay, D. F., Pawlby, S., et al (1995) The impact of postnatal depression on boys’ intellectual development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 36, 13151336.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Effects of treating postnatal depression on mother-infant interaction and child development: Systematic review

  • Amudha S. Poobalan (a1), Lorna S. Aucott (a2), Louise Ross (a1), W. Cairns. S. Smith (a2), Peter J. Helms (a3) and Justin H. G. Williams (a3)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *