ARCH Lab contributes to Two Studies Examining Treatments for Post-Partum Depression

The ARCH lab recently contributed to two papers investigating the use of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD). The first paper, “Treating postpartum depression with 1-day cognitive behavioural therapy-based workshops”, aimed to assess the feasibility and impact of 1-day CBT-based workshops for PPD. Results suggested that following two 1-day CBT-based workshops, mothers saw significantly reduced depression, anxiety and health-care utilization. Further, mother-infant relationships improved, there was reduction in impaired bonding, rejection or pathological anger and a decrease in infant-focused anxiety. These findings suggest that 1-day CBT-based workshops can be successfully adapted for PPD and may be an efficient way to increase the number of mothers receiving treatment.

The second paper “Public health nurse delivered group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for postpartum depression: A pilot study”, sought to determine the feasibility and acceptance of Public Health Nurse (PHN)-delivered group CBT for PPD. Study participants underwent a 9-week CBT group delivered by two PHNs. Compared to before treatment, there were reductions seen in maternal depression and worry, the number of health-care visits decreased and mother-infant relations were improved.

Together these findings have major implications, particularly to the treatment of PPD. Specifically, they highlight potentially effective and efficient methods to deliver interventions for PPD, thereby improving both maternal and child outcomes and promoting access to specialized treatments for PPD.