National statistics related specifically to the mental health of women in the perinatal period is poorly acknowledged in Australia. Maternal deaths related to mental health in the perinatal period can be attributed to a lack of appropriate treatment and/or support. A barrier to women's help-seeking behaviors is the lack of discrete, perinatal specific interventions where women can self-assess and access support.AIM: This review examines original research evaluating perinatal mental health interventions used by women to improve mental health.METHOD: An integrative literature review was undertaken. A comprehensive search strategy using 5 electronic databases resulted in the retrieval of 1898 articles. Use of an inclusion and exclusion criteria and Critical Appraisal Skills Program tools resulted in 4 original research papers. Thematic analysis identified universal themes.FINDINGS: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Activation and Mindfulness-based interventions, specifically adapted to meet the needs of women in the perinatal period, demonstrate an overall improvement in mental health. Women involved in the interventions experienced both improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as secondary benefits from participating in the research.CONCLUSION: To improve perinatal mental health outcomes, innovative modes of providing effective perinatal mental health interventions that address the unique needs of women in the perinatal period are needed. Future development of perinatal mental health interventions require adaptions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Activation and/or Mindfulness-based methods to address mental health outcomes for women in the perinatal period.
Lavender, T. J., Ebert, L., & Jones, D. (2016). An evaluation of perinatal mental health interventions: An integrative literature review. Women and Birth, 29(5), 399-406. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2016.04.004