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Title: The contribution of group prenatal care to maternal psychological health outcomes: A systematic review.
Austin Authors: Buultjens, Melissa;Farouque, Ambereen;Karimi, Leila;Whitby, Linda;Milgrom, Jeannette ;Erbas, Bircan
Affiliation: School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, 3086, Victoria, Australia
La Trobe University Library Research, La Trobe University, Bundoora, 3086, Victoria, Australia
Parent-Infant Research Institute
Issue Date: Nov-2021
Date: 2020-12-24
Publication information: Women and Birth 2021; 34(6): e631-e642
Abstract: Poor mental health remains a significant cause of morbidity for childbearing women globally. Group care has been shown to be effective in reducing select clinical outcomes, e.g., the rate of preterm birth, but less is known about the effect of Group Prenatal Care (GPC) on mental health outcomes of stress, depression and anxiety in pregnant women. To conduct a systematic review of the current evidence of the effect of group pregnancy care on mental health and wellbeing outcomes (i.e., stress, depression and/or anxiety) in childbearing women. A comprehensive search of published studies in Medline, PsychInfo, CINAHL, ProQuest databases, and Google Scholar. Databases were systematically searched without publication period restriction until Feb 2020. Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials (including quasi-experimental) and observational studies comparing group care with standard pregnancy care. Included were studies published in English, whose primary outcome measures were stress, depression and/or anxiety. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria, five randomized controlled trials and four observational studies, involving 1585 women (39%) in GPC and 2456 women (61%) in standard (individual) pregnancy care. Although evidence is limited, where targeted education was integrated into the group pregnancy care model, significant reductions in depressive symptoms were observed. In addition, secondary analysis across several studies identified a subset of GPC women, i.e., higher risk for psychological symptoms, who reported a decrease in their depression, stress and anxiety symptoms, postpartum. Due to the diversity of group care structure and content and the lack of outcomes measures universally reported, a comprehensive meta-analysis could not be performed. The evidence suggests improvements in some markers of psychological health outcomes with group pregnancy care. Future research should involve larger well-designed studies encompassing cross-population data using a validated scale that is comparable across diverse childbearing populations and clinical settings to better understand the impact of group pregnancy care.
DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2020.12.004
Journal: Women and Birth
PubMed URL: 33358645
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Anxiety
Group pregnancy care
Group prenatal care
Observational study
Randomized controlled trial
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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