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Syst Rev. 2019 Oct 29;8(1):248. doi: 10.1186/s13643-019-1158-6.

Interpersonal psychotherapy for perinatal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

Author information

Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, PF2226, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.
Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, PF2226, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.
Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Alberta Health Services, Southport Atrium #2237, 10101 Southport Road, S.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Psychiatry/Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of Iowa, 1-293 MEB, W311 Seashore Hall, Iowa City, IA, 55241-1407, USA.
Libraries and Cultural Resources, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.



Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is an intervention that has established efficacy in the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders. Previous systematic reviews have not evaluated the effectiveness of IPT on symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, quality of life, relationship satisfaction/quality, social supports, and an improved psychological sense of well-being. There is limited data regarding factors that moderate and mediate the effectiveness of IPT including the timing of the intervention or the mode of delivery of IPT intervention. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of IPT interventions to treat perinatal psychological distress and to summarize the evidence on predictors, mediators, and moderators of IPT.


We will include peer-reviewed studies that recruited perinatal women. The search strategy will involve the following databases: MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), PsycINFO (Ovid), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Ovid), CINAHL with Full Text (EBSCO), Social Work Abstracts (EBSCO), SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCO), Academic Search Complete (EBSCO), Family & Society Studies Worldwide (EBSCO), Family Studies Abstracts (EBSCO), and Scopus. Study inclusion criteria include (1) randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, and pre-post studies that evaluated the effectiveness of IPT; (2) qualitative studies that evaluated feasibility and acceptability of IPT; (3) study sample included and analyzed perinatal women; and (4) publication language was English. Using pilot-tested screening and data extraction forms, two reviewers will independently review studies in three steps: (1) abstract/title screening, (2) full-text screening of potentially accepted studies, and (3) data extraction of accepted studies. Disagreements will be resolved by a third reviewer. Studies will be aggregated for meta-synthesis and meta-analysis should the data allow for this. Two independent reviewers will grade methodological quality.


Findings from this review will inform future development and implementation of IPT intervention research for perinatal women. Identifying key factors of successful IPT interventions will inform intervention design and adaptation of IPT interventions to increase the likelihood that perinatal women will engage in and benefit from IPT interventions. This review will also identify key considerations for increasing the effectiveness of IPT interventions during the perinatal period.


PROSPERO CRD42019114292.


Antenatal; Distress; Interpersonal psychotherapy; Perinatal; Postpartum; Systematic review; Women

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