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J Affect Disord. 2018 Oct 15;239:253-257. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.083. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

Cohort study of the relationship between individual psychotherapy and pregnancy outcomes.

Author information

1
Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics, Center for Human Genetic Research and Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, Unites States.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Boston, MA 02114, Unites States.
3
Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics, Center for Human Genetic Research and Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, Unites States. Electronic address: rperlis@partners.org.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Antenatal depression is associated with poor obstetric outcomes, but it has not been determined if treatment improves these outcomes. We hypothesized that psychotherapy for antenatal depression would decrease rates of low Apgar score, preterm birth, low birthweight, and high maternal weight gain.

METHODS:

Using longitudinal clinical data from the electronic health record (EHR) of a large academic medical center, we examined the association between exposure to psychotherapy during pregnancy among women with a history of major depressive disorder and obstetric outcomes. We compared outcomes between women with and without psychotherapy treatment during pregnancy, and included a dose response analysis.

RESULTS:

Of 50,856 women with pregnancies between 1998 and 2013, 5413 had a lifetime diagnosis of depression (948 had a diagnosis of depression during pregnancy), and 536 received psychotherapy at least once during pregnancy. Women who received one or more psychotherapy sessions during pregnancy had increased odds of preterm delivery and decreased odds of high maternal weight gain (more than 40 pounds). Individuals who received four or more psychotherapy sessions during pregnancy had increased odds of preterm birth and low infant birth weight and decreased odds of high maternal weight gain.

LIMITATIONS:

Patients may have pursued treatment outside of this hospital's EHR data, and we cannot control for the quality of treatment or type of psychotherapy.

DISCUSSION:

Psychotherapy was associated with negative obstetric outcomes. While treatment of depression in pregnant women has been shown to benefit the mother, the absence of benefit in terms of pregnancy outcomes merits further investigation.

KEYWORDS:

Antenatal depression; Pregnancy; Pregnancy outcomes; Preterm birth; Psychotherapy

PMID:
30029152
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.083

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