Scaling up Mental Healthcare for Perinatal Populations: Is Telemedicine the Answer?

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2022 Dec;24(12):881-887. doi: 10.1007/s11920-022-01389-2. Epub 2022 Nov 19.


Purpose of review: Telemedicine has transformed our ability to access and offer mental healthcare. There remain key questions to facilitate scalable, patient-centered solutions for perinatal mental health. We critically evaluate the recent literature and propose potential future directions.

Recent findings: The current literature highlights the promise of telemedicine in the prevention and treatment of perinatal depression, including the preference for and the potential efficacy of telemedicine-delivered mental healthcare when compared to in-person treatments. There remains a need for large, adequately powered randomized controlled trials; integration of trauma into depression and anxiety trials, transdiagnostic treatment of perinatal women, and scaling up these effective treatments into existing health and payer systems. Pragmatic, evidence-based solutions exist to effectively scale-up treatments for perinatal mental health. While research is underway to address the growing treatment gap, questions remain regarding who will deliver and pay for these treatments and how we can leverage telemedicine to treat perinatal mental health transdiagnostically.

Keywords: Perinatal depression; Perinatal trauma; Psychotherapy; Telemedicine; Transdiagnostic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Depression / therapy
  • Depressive Disorder*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Pregnancy
  • Telemedicine*