A spiritual intervention to reduce stress, anxiety and depression in pregnant women: Randomized controlled trial

Health Care Women Int. 2021 Dec;42(12):1340-1357. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2020.1836643. Epub 2020 Nov 12.


We assessed the efficacy of a spiritually-integrated cognitive-behavioral educational group intervention for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure during pregnancy and improving delivery outcomes. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 84 pregnant women randomly assigned to either the intervention or a control group. Demographic information was collected at baseline, along with measures of religiosity, stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. Our intervention consisted of four 90-minute group sessions over 8 weeks that utilized a spiritually-integrated cognitive-behavioral approach to help participants cope with the stress of pregnancy. Stress, anxiety and depression scores in the intervention group decreased significantly by 41%, 28%, and 41%, respectively, from baseline to 3-month follow-up. There were also significant differences in systolic and diastolic blood pressure between groups at the 3-month follow-up, favoring the intervention group. Between-group differences were also significant for these outcomes. Applying such spiritually-integrated intervention may help to improve the mental and physical health of young, healthy nulliparous pregnant women.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women*