The effect of mindfulness-based interventions on stress, depression and anxiety during the perinatal period in women without pre-existing stress, depressive or anxiety disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials

Linda Corbally, Michael Wilkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives:
The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine controlled trial evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions on stress, anxiety and depression in the perinatal period in women without pre-existing mental health issues.

Methods:
Six databases were searched for studies exploring the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on mental health outcomes of women during the perinatal period. Quality of both controlled trials meeting inclusion criteria were assessed using a tool specifically designed for meta analyses of mindfulness-based interventions. Effect sizes were extracted for measures of mindfulness, depression, stress and anxiety outcomes. Effects from were pooled in separate meta analyses for all outcomes except anxiety which lacked sufficient studies.

Results:
Twelve studies were analysed. Pooled effects suggest that mindfulness-based interventions cause small but clear increases in mindfulness and reductions in depression in women without pre-existing disorders. Effects of mindfulness-based interventions on other outcomes was unclear and confounded by heterogeneity.

Conclusions:
Available controlled trial evidence suggests that mindfulness-based interventions improve mindfulness and decrease symptoms of depression during pregnancy in women without pre-existing mental health issues, and might be a useful approach to prevent or attenuate the development of depression in the perinatal period.


Original languageEnglish
JournalMindfulness
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jul 2021

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