A Systematic Literature Review of Nursing Interventions for Postpartum Depression and their Outcomes

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Philippine Journal of Nursing


Purpose: This study was conducted to bring together studies on the common nursing interventions for postpartum depression (PPD) and their outcomes. It aims to provide interpretation of relevant findings to help further enhance the nursing care of patients with postpartum depression.

Design and Methods: A systematic literature review (SLR) approach was utilized to synthesize studies related to the management of postpartum depression and its outcomes. One hundred five studies (105) were initially retrieved from three online databases. Eventually, fifteen studies were included in this review after the screening process on quality and risk of bias assessments. Codes were identified from the included studies and were clustered into themes. Athematic map was formulated to visualize the interconnections of the nursing interventions for postpartum depression and its outcomes.

Findings: Nurses caring for patients with postpartum depression usually practice PPD education, perinatal assessment, PPD counseling, nurse-delivered psychotherapy, providing social support, drug administration, complementary and alternative therapy combined with conventional management, and patient referral. These nursing practices for postpartum depression yielded the following outcomes: (1) symptom alleviation, (2) empowerment, (3) positive feedback, and (4) negative outcomes.

Conclusions and Recommendations: There is a range of nursing interventions for postpartum depression. This review highlights the significant roles of PPD education and nursing assessment and emphasizes these interventions to be practiced not only after childbirth but also during the prenatal period to identify at-risk patients and provide early intervention. This review also emphasizes the need for more coordinated care and a multidisciplinary approach, including patient referral, to achieve better outcomes in the care of postpartum depression patients. This relates to the acknowledgment of the various factors contributing to the development of postpartum depression and its lack of clear etiology.

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