Cognitive behaviour therapy-based intervention by community health workers for mothers with depression and their infants in rural Pakistan: a cluster-randomised controlled trial
Peer reviewed article
The aim of this randomized control trial in rural Pakistan assesses the effects of an integrated cognitive behaviour therapy-based intervention into the routine work of community-based primary health workers on perinatal depression and to test the hypothesis that treatment of perinatal depression could lead to improved nutrition and other health outcomes in the infant.
The result of this study shows that the intervention more than halved the rate of depression in prenatally depressed women. Although the impact on infants growth indices was not significant in intervention group but it had other benefits such as less episodes of diarrhea and higher rate of immunization amongst infants in the control group, increased use of contraception in mothers
This study shows how in underprivileged areas with lack of mental health professionals these interventions can be delivered by ordinary health workers without previous training in mental health, and to inform policy makers of the importance of integrating such interventions into the existing health systems