Non-pharmacological interventions to reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety in pregnant women. A systematic review and narrative synthesis of women's views on the acceptability of and satisfaction with interventions

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2020 Feb;23(1):11-28. doi: 10.1007/s00737-018-0936-9. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Abstract

To assess women's views on the acceptability of and satisfaction with non-pharmacological interventions to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in pregnant women. A systematic review and narrative synthesis (Prospero protocol number CRD42015017841). Fourteen included studies were conducted in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, UK and USA. Interventions were cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, yoga, psychological assessment, supportive and educational based interventions. Studies included women from general antenatal populations and women with anxiety or depression symptoms or risk factors for anxiety or depression. The findings were limited due to the small number of studies evaluating different types of interventions using various study methods. Some studies had too little procedural reporting to allow a full quality assessment. Women's views on the acceptability of and satisfaction with interventions were overwhelmingly positive. The review highlights women's motivations for and barriers to participation as well as the benefit women perceived from peer support and individual discussions of their situation. Interventions need to be further evaluated in randomised controlled trials. The inclusion of women's views and experiences illuminates how and why intervention components contribute to outcomes. Women's initial concerns about psychological screening and the benefit derived from peer support and individual discussion should be noted by providers of maternity care.

Keywords: Antenatal; Anxiety; Intervention; Pregnancy; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness
  • Narration
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*
  • Yoga