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Telemedicine interventions may improve mental health outcomes in pregnant women and new mothers

2 Minute Medicine 2023 June 8

1. In this systematic review, most studies found that pregnant women and new mothers who received telemedicine interventions showed a significant improvement in many mental health outcomes.

2. However, these interventions did not demonstrate a significant improvement in symptoms of anxiety.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

Affective disorders during pregnancy may have deleterious consequences, not only for the mother, but also for the fetus, making treatment imperative. Telemedicine may offer a solution due to its ease of access, especially for those who may have difficulties with transportation. Currently, few systematic reviews have assessed the efficacy of telemedicine interventions in addressing mental health concerns in this population. As a result, the objective of the present study was to review the literature on telemedicine interventions in pregnant women and new mothers and their effectiveness in addressing mental health outcomes.

Of 4036 identified records, 44 studies were included from various databases from 2007-2020. Studies were included if they were randomized controlled trials that evaluated the use of telemedicine in addressing mental health related outcomes in pregnant women and/or new mothers. Studies were excluded if they were printed in languages other than English or German. The review was performed using PRISMA guidelines. Risk of bias was assessed using the revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials (RoB 2). The primary outcome was the impact of telemedicine interventions on mental health outcomes.

The results found that most studies demonstrated improvements in mental health outcomes, such as depression and stress, for pregnant women/new mothers who received a telemedicine intervention. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy delivered via telemedicine was helpful in alleviating symptoms of depression and stress. However, studies have noted that generally telemedicine interventions were less effective at improving symptoms of anxiety. Despite these results, the review was limited by the heterogeneity of the telemedicine interventions used by the included studies, which may have affected the comparability of the results. Nonetheless, the present study presented evidence to support the use of telemedicine interventions to improve mental health outcomes in pregnant women and new mothers.

Click to read the study in BMC Psychiatry

Originally Published By 2 Minute Medicine®. Reused on Read by QxMD with permission.

©2023 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.

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