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The effectiveness of telemedicine interventions to address maternal depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

The effectiveness of telemedicine interventions to address maternal depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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The effectiveness of telemedicine interventions to address maternal depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Telemed Telecare. 2018 Dec;24(10):639-650

Authors: Nair U, Armfield NR, Chatfield MD, Edirippulige S

Abstract
Introduction Maternal depression (MD), is an overarching term for depression affecting pregnant women and mothers for up to 12 months postpartum. Because MD may have chronic and long-lasting effects, it is an important public health concern. The extent to which telemedicine may be an effective way to provide services to sufferers of MD is unknown, therefore, this review aimed to assess the available evidence. Methods We conducted a search of The Cochrane Library, PubMed/MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and EMBASE for relevant randomised controlled trials published between 2000 and 2018; we then conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. Results We identified 10 studies for inclusion. Therapeutic strategies involved cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), behavioural activation and other psychoeducation. Eight trials reported significant improvement in depression scores post-intervention; four studies that conducted post-intervention follow-up found that these improvements continued. However, high attrition rates and lack of blinding were common problems. Discussion This review found limited evidence supporting the delivery of CBT for the treatment of MD and anxiety using telemedicine. However, most of the evidence only studied improvements in postpartum depression, indicating that use of telemedicine to provide MD intervention is still small and an under-researched area.

PMID: 30343660 [PubMed - in process]

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