“Postnatal Depression can be Prevented, Study Shows”. Intriguing title. We have learned more and more about how to identify, screen and assess symptoms of postpartum depression. This large-scale study carried out in England points to interventions that can possibly inhibit depression from developing. According to the researcher, Terry Brugha:

“‘…this study shows that women are less likely to become depressed in the year after childbirth if they are attended by an NHS [National Health System] health visitor [registered nurses] who has undergone additional training in specific mental health assessment and in psychological approaches based on either cognitive behavioral or listening techniques,” Brugha said.

Women who had a health visitor with additional mental health training were 30-percent less likely to have developed depression six months after giving birth compared with women receiving usual care, according to the study, which is published in the current issue of the journal Psychological Medicine.”

The results suggest that these improvements continued throughout the eighteen month follow-up.

Sounds like they might be on to something…

Reference: “Universal prevention of depression in women postnatally: cluster randomized trial evidence in primary care”, Psychological Medicine (2010) Vol 40. Cambridge University Press.

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