Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Effects of maternal stress and/or anxiety interventions in the first 1000 days:Systematic review of reviews

Matvienko-Sikar, Karen; Redsell, Sarah; Flannery, Caragh

Effects of maternal stress and/or anxiety interventions in the first 1000 days:Systematic review of reviews Thumbnail


Karen Matvienko-Sikar

Professor of Childrens' Community and Public Health

Caragh Flannery


Objective: Effective interventions are needed to mitigate effects of stress and anxiety from conception and up to two years postpartum (the first 1000 days), but it is unclear what works, for what populations and at what time points. This review aimed to synthesise evidence from existing reviews of the effects of stress and anxiety interventions. Methods: A systematic review of systematic reviews was conducted. PsycINFO, CINAHL, MEDLINE and the Cochrane databases were searched (inception to January 2020). Reviews were eligible if they examined effects of interventions during the first 1000 days on women’s stress and/or anxiety. Extracted data were narratively synthesised. Review quality was assessed using existing recommendations including the AMSTAR tool. Results: Thirty-four reviews were eligible for inclusion; 21 demonstrated high methodological quality. Cognitive behavioural therapy demonstrates some beneficial effects for anxiety across the first 1000 days for general and at-risk populations. Support-based interventions demonstrate effects for stress and anxiety for at-risk mothers in the postpartum. Music, yoga and relaxation demonstrate some effects for stress and anxiety, but studies are limited by high risk of bias. Conclusion: Existing evidence is inconsistent. Cognitive behavioural therapy and support-based interventions demonstrate some benefits. Further methodologically and conceptually robust research is needed.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 23, 2021
Publication Date Sep 23, 2021
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 13, 2021
Journal Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Print ISSN 0264-6838
Electronic ISSN 1469-672X
Publisher Informa UK Limited
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-38
Keywords Obstetrics and Gynaecology; General Psychology; Reproductive Medicine; Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations