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Title: Treating postnatal depressive symptoms in primary care: a randomised controlled trial of GP management, with and without adjunctive counselling.
Austin Authors: Milgrom, Jeannette ;Holt, Christopher J;Gemmill, Alan W ;Ericksen, Jennifer ;Leigh, Bronwyn;Buist, Anne ;Schembri, Charlene
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Clinical and Health Psychology
Parent-Infant Research Institute
Issue Date: 27-May-2011
Publication information: Bmc Psychiatry 2011; 11(): 95
Abstract: Postnatal depression (PND) is under-diagnosed and most women do not access effective help. We aimed to evaluate comparative management of (PND) following screening with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, using three best-practice care pathways by comparing management by general practitioners (GPs) alone compared to adjunctive counselling, based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), delivered by postnatal nurses or psychologists.This was a parallel, three-group randomised controlled trial conducted in a primary care setting (general practices and maternal & child health centres) and a psychology clinic. A total of 3,531 postnatal women were screened for symptoms of depression; 333 scored above cut-off on the screening tool and 169 were referred to the study. Sixty-eight of these women were randomised between the three treatment groups.Mean scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at entry were in the moderate-to-severe range. There was significant variation in the post-study frequency of scores exceeding the threshold indicative of mild-to-severe depressive symptoms, such that more women receiving only GP management remained above the cut-off score after treatment (p = .028). However, all three treatment conditions were accompanied by significant reductions in depressive symptoms and mean post-study BDI-II scores were similar between groups. Compliance was high in all three groups. Women rated the treatments as highly effective. Rates of both referral to the study (51%), and subsequent treatment uptake (40%) were low.Data from this small study suggest that GP management of PND when augmented by a CBT-counselling package may be successful in reducing depressive symptoms in more patients compared to GP management alone. The relatively low rates of referral and treatment uptake, suggest that help-seeking remains an issue for many women with PND, consistent with previous research.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-11-95
ORCID: 0000-0002-4082-4595
Journal: BMC psychiatry
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Adult
Cognitive Therapy.methods.statistics & numerical data
Counseling.methods.statistics & numerical data
Depression, Postpartum.therapy
Patient Compliance.statistics & numerical data
Patient Satisfaction.statistics & numerical data
Physicians, Primary Care
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales.statistics & numerical data
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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