Psychological treatment of postpartum depression: a meta-analysis



Postpartum depression is a widespread and disruptive depressive disorder seriously affecting the lives of new mothers and their families. We conducted a meta-analysis of controlled and comparative studies of psychological treatments of postpartum depression. Seventeen studies were included. The mean standardized effect size of all psychological treatments compared to control conditions was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.37∼0.85). Several subgroup analyses were conducted. Studies with waiting list control groups had a larger mean effect size (0.96; 95% CI: 0.63∼1.29) than studies with a care-as-usual control group (0.41; 95% CI: 0.25∼0.58). No definite conclusions can be drawn about the longer term effects. Too few studies were available to draw conclusions about the relative effects of psychological treatments compared to pharmacological and other treatments. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 64: 103–118, 2008.