In-patient treatment of mothers with depressive disorders - does joint admission of their children have a negative effect on the results of treatment?

Psychother Psychosom. 2005;74(6):366-70. doi: 10.1159/000087784.


Background: There is disagreement whether in-patient psychotherapeutic treatment results for women whose children are cohospitalised with them would be better if the mothers were hospitalised without children. The purpose of this study was to examine this question in the case of mothers with depressive symptoms.

Methods: The treatment results for 43 female in-patients (21 with and 22 without accompanying children) in a prospective, randomised, controlled study were compared. The period of observation was 6 weeks. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Changes in Experience and Behaviour Questionnaire (VEV) were used for outcome measures.

Results: At 6 weeks, according to the intent-to-treat principle, neither the VEV (p = 0.58) nor the BDI (p = 0.57) yielded significant differences between mothers whose children were admitted jointly and mothers whose children were not.

Conclusion: The treatment results for patients with depressive symptoms whoare accompanied by their children for the duration of their in-patient psychotherapy treatment are just as good as those for mothers whose children are not jointly admitted. Additionally, the data have further implications that lend themselves to discussion regarding support for this type of facility.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Patient Admission*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Treatment Outcome