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Maternal antenatal mood and child development: an exploratory study of treatment effects on child outcomes up to 5 years

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2018

J. Milgrom
Affiliation:
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
C. J. Holt
Affiliation:
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
L. S. Bleker*
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
C. Holt
Affiliation:
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
J. Ross
Affiliation:
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
J. Ericksen
Affiliation:
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
V. Glover
Affiliation:
Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, London, UK
K. J. O’Donnell
Affiliation:
Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Child and Brain Development Program, Toronto, Canada
S. R. de Rooij
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A. W. Gemmill
Affiliation:
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
*Corresponding
Address for correspondence: L. S. Bleker, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: I.s.bleker@amc.uva.n

Abstract

Effective treatment of maternal antenatal depression may ameliorate adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in offspring. We performed two follow-up rounds of children at age 2 and age 5 whose mothers had received either specialized cognitive-behavioural therapy or routine care for depression while pregnant. Of the original cohort of 54 women, renewed consent was given by 28 women for 2-year follow-up and by 24 women for 5-year follow-up. Child assessments at the 2-year follow-up included the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-III) and the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). The 5-year follow-up included the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence (WPPSI-III) and again the CBCL. Treatment during pregnancy showed significant benefits for children’s development at age 2, but not at age 5. At 2 years, intervention effects were found with lower scores on the PSI Total score, Parent Domain and Child domain (d=1.44, 1.47, 0.96 respectively). A non-significant trend favoured the intervention group on most subscales of the CBCL and the BSID-III (most notably motor development: d =0.52). In contrast, at 5-year follow-up, no intervention effects were found. Also, irrespective of treatment allocation, higher depression or anxiety during pregnancy was associated with higher CBCL and lower WPPSI-III scores at 5 years. This is one of the first controlled studies to evaluate the long-term effect of antenatal depression treatment on infant neurodevelopmental outcomes, showing some benefit. Nevertheless, caution should be taken interpreting the results because of a small sample size, and larger studies are warranted.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press and the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2018. 

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