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Health visitor training reduces risk of postnatal depression 6 months after birth

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Question

Question:

What is the effectiveness and costs effectiveness of training health visitors to identify and deliver psychologically informed interventions for postnatal depression?

Patients:

4084 women from participating general practices who were 36 weeks’ pregnant, had a live baby and remained on the health visitor's caseload for at least 4 months postna-tally. Exclusions: age <18 years; mental health issues (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder); moving away or temporary resident.

Setting:

101 general practices in 29 Primary Care Trusts in the Trent Regional Health Authority, UK; randomisation February and March 2003.

Intervention:

Specific health visitor training in postnatal depression or health visitor usual care. Health visitors in the training group were trained in assessing women and in providing psychological sessions. Heath visitors were also randomised to train to deliver either a cognitive behavioural approach (CBA) or a person centred approach (PCA) to women at risk of depression; health visitors could …

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