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Review: professional or social support reduce postpartum depression

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Question In women who have postpartum depression, are professional or social support programmes effective?

Data sources

Studies were identified using the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Specialised Register of Controlled Trials; trials in this register were identified by searching Medline (from 1966), hand searching journals and conference proceedings, and contacting obstetricians and paediatricians in 18 countries.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they compared usual postpartum care for depressed mothers with additional professional or social support (or both), included women who had live infants and were clinically depressed during the first 6 months postpartum, used randomised or quasirandomised methods to allocate women to treatment groups, and the methodological quality was acceptable with no systematic error in the randomisation or follow up of patients. Studies which used pharmacological treatment were included. …

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