Objective: Antenatal depression, a substantial risk factor for postpartum depression, occurs in 10% of pregnant women, but no clinical treatment trials of antenatal depression exist. In an effort to establish treatment guidelines for depression during pregnancy, the author reports on a treatment program using interpersonal psychotherapy for antepartum depression.
Method: A 16-week open pilot trial conducted with 13 pregnant women who met DSM-III-R criteria for major depression.
Results: The women's mean depression ratings decreased significantly from week 0 to week 16 of the treatment program.
Conclusions: Interpersonal psychotherapy for antepartum depression appears to be an effective alternative to pharmacotherapy in pregnancy. This study served as a pilot for an ongoing controlled clinical treatment trial.