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Treatment of maternal perinatal depression in a low-income setting does not lead to improved outcomes for children
  1. Paul G Ramchandani1,
  2. Dorothy X King2
  1. 1Academic Unit of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial College, London, UK;
  2. 2Imperial College—Centre for Mental Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul G Ramchandani, p.ramchandani{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Maselko J, Sikander S, Bhalotra S, et al. Effect of an early perinatal depression intervention on long-term child development outcomes: follow-up of the Thinking Healthy Programme randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry 2015;2:609–17.

What is already known on this topic

Perinatal depression is common; in high-income countries the point prevalence is approximately 13%, with higher rates estimated in low-income and middle-income countries.1 Furthermore, perinatal depression is associated with an increased risk of adverse child outcomes, including behavioural, emotional and cognitive difficulties,2 which persist into late childhood and adolescence. However, there is as yet only limited evidence to convincingly establish this association as being causal, with few studies evaluating the effects of intervening in the perinatal period on child development outcomes.

Methods of the study

Study participants were mother-child dyads who had been screened as part of the Thinking Healthy Programme (THP) randomised controlled trial.3 Of 705 participating mother–child dyads interviewed at the end of the THP study, 584 (83%) dyads were enrolled. Participants with depression were randomised …

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  • Competing interests PGR is lead investigator on a randomised controlled pilot trial of a psychological intervention for maternal antenatal anxiety (ACORN) funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) in the UK.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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