Postpartum depression is prevalent worldwide and seriously endangers maternal and child health. Previous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of psychological and psychosocial intervention programmes in preventing postpartum depression. However, the literature offers limited practice guidance. Therefore, this study aimed to deeply analyse prior findings to gather rich evidence-based information on this topic.
Using the distillation and matching model, we conducted a systematic review of psychological and psychosocial interventions used to effectively prevent postpartum depression. Four researchers trained in coding system independently read eligible studies and identified reliable (Cohen’s kappa >0.40) and frequently occurring (frequency ≥3 winning study groups) practice elements.
Our review included 36 studies containing 37 winning study groups. Fourteen practice elements were identified and subsequently divided into six categories: postpartum practical problems-related, social support-related, interpersonal psychotherapy-related, cognitive behavioural therapy-related, labour trauma-related and non-specific techniques. The most common practice elements were baby care skills and mother–infant bonding/interaction enhancement. Inter-rater reliability averaged 0.86, ranging from 0.48 to 1.
The practice elements identified in this study provide rich evidence-based information that can guide clinical practitioners in selecting or developing effective, realistically available intervention programmes.