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The effectiveness of exercise-based interventions for preventing or treating postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Carter, Tim; Bastounis, Anastasios; Guo, Boliang; Jane Morrell, C.

Authors

Anastasios Bastounis

C. Jane Morrell



Abstract

© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature. Postpartum depression can have detrimental effects on both a mother’s physical and mental health and on her child’s growth and emotional development. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of exercise/physical activity-based interventions in preventing and treating postpartum depressive symptoms in primiparous and multiparous women to the end of the postnatal period at 52weeks postpartum. Electronic databases were searched for published and unpublished randomised controlled trials of exercise/physical activity-based interventions in preventing and treating depressive symptoms and increasing health-related quality of life in women from 4 to 52weeks postpartum. The results of the studies were meta-analysed and effect sizes with confidence intervals were calculated. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment and Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to determine the confidence in the effect estimates. Eighteen trials conducted across a range of countries met the inclusion criteria. Most of the exercise interventions were aerobic and coaching compared to usual care, non-intervention and active controls. Small effect sizes of exercise-based interventions in reducing depressive symptoms were observed collectively and the quality of evidence was low across the individual studies. Although exercise-based interventions could create an alternative therapeutic approach for preventing major depression in postpartum women who experience subthreshold elevated depressive symptoms, the clinical effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of exercise-based and physical activity interventions need to be better established. There is a need for further more rigorous testing of such interventions in high-quality randomised controlled trials against active control conditions before large-scale roll-out of these interventions in clinical practice is proposed.

Citation

Carter, T., Bastounis, A., Guo, B., & Jane Morrell, C. (2019). The effectiveness of exercise-based interventions for preventing or treating postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 22(1), 37-53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-018-0869-3

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date May 24, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 7, 2018
Publication Date 2019-02
Deposit Date Jan 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2019
Journal Archives of Women's Mental Health
Print ISSN 1434-1816
Electronic ISSN 1435-1102
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Pages 37-53
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-018-0869-3
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1497328
Publisher URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00737-018-0869-3

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