Effects of support group intervention in postnatally distressed women. A controlled study in Taiwan

J Psychosom Res. 2000 Dec;49(6):395-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(00)00180-x.


Objective: The symptoms of depression experienced by women during the postnatal period may have profound effects on the lifelong health of both the mother and the child. In this randomized controlled study, we systematically evaluated the effects of weekly supportive group meetings for women with postnatal distress.

Methods: Sixty postnatally distressed women were randomly assigned to support (n=30) and control (n=30) groups. Women assigned to the support group participated in four supportive group sessions that comprised discussions concerning transition to motherhood, postnatal stress management, communication skills, and life planning.

Results: Subjects who attended the support sessions had significantly decreased scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and significantly increased scores on the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL) as evaluated at the end of the fourth weekly session. In contrast, no significant changes were observed in the control group during this period.

Conclusion: This is the first controlled study to provide evidence that participation in support groups for postnatally distressed women provides quantifiable psychosocial benefits.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Self Concept
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome