Lessons learned from a pilot randomized controlled trial of dyadic interpersonal psychotherapy for perinatal depression in a low-income population

Shannon N. Lenze, Mary Anne Potts, Jennifer Rodgers, Joan Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Perinatal depression is a public health burden impacting mothers and their offspring. This study extended brief-Interpersonal Psychotherapy delivered during pregnancy by incorporating a postpartum attachment based dyadic-component to maintain mother's treatment gains and enhance the mother-infant relationship (called IPT-Dyad). The current report presents data from a pilot randomized controlled trial comparing IPT-Dyad to Enhanced Treatment as Usual (ETAU). Methods: Women, ages 18 and older, between 12–30 weeks gestation meeting criteria for a depressive disorder were eligible. Participants were randomized to either IPT-Dyad (n = 21) or ETAU (n = 21). Maternal and infant outcomes were assessed through one-year postpartum. Results: Participants were primarily African American (77%), single (80%), with low-incomes. Attrition was high in both groups (IPT-Dyad 30%; ETAU 40%). Depression scores improved from baseline in both groups and remained improved over the 12 month follow-up. There were no between group differences on measures of parenting stress, mother-infant interactions, and infant socioemotional functioning. Limitations: The small sample size of this study was further reduced by attrition, despite efforts to maintain engagement. Reliance on self-report outcome measures is also a limitation. Conclusions: IPT-Dyad may be a promising intervention for perinatal depression with potential benefit for mothers and babies. Treatment engagement and management of psychosocial needs were persistent challenges throughout the postpartum period. Further refinement of intervention content and schedule to better meet the needs and values of under-resourced mothers is needed. Earlier screening; better integration of care within OB settings; and delivering care in conjunction with social service resources may also improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-292
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Volume271
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2020

Keywords

  • Infants
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Parenting
  • Perinatal depression

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