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The COVID-19 pandemic is a global traumatic experience for citizens, especially during sensitive time windows of heightened plasticity such as pregnancy and neonatal life. Pandemic-related stress experienced by mothers during pregnancy may act as an early risk factor for infants’ regulatory capacity development by altering maternal psychosocial well-being (e.g., increased anxiety, reduced social support) and caregiving environment (e.g., greater parenting stress, impaired mother–infant bonding). The aim of the present longitudinal study was to assess the consequences of pandemic-related prenatal stress on infants’ regulatory capacity. A sample of 163 mother–infant dyads was enrolled at eight maternity units in northern Italy. They provided complete data about prenatal stress, perceived social support, postnatal anxiety symptoms, parenting stress, mother–infant bonding, and infants’ regulatory capacity at 3 months of age. Women who experienced emotional stress and received partial social support during pregnancy reported higher anxious symptoms. Moreover, maternal postnatal anxiety was indirectly linked to the infants’ regulatory capacity at 3 months, mediated by parenting stress and mother–infant bonding. Dedicated preventive interventions should be delivered to mothers and should be focused on protecting the mother–infant dyad from the detrimental effects of pandemic-related stress during the COVID-19 healthcare emergency.
Calati R, Pedrini L, Alighieri S, Alvarez MI, Desideri L, Durante D, Favero F, Iero L, Magnani G, Pericoli V, Polmonari A, Raggini R, Raimondi E, Riboni V, Scaduto MC, Serretti A, De Girolamo G. Is cognitive behavioural therapy an effective complement to antidepressants in adolescents? A meta-analysis.
Objective: Evidence on effectiveness of combined treatments versus antidepressants alone in adolescents consists on a few studies in both major depressive and anxiety disorders. A meta-analysis of randomised 12-week follow-up studies in which antidepressant treatment was compared to combined treatment consisting of the same antidepressant with cognitive behavioural therapy has been performed.
Methods: Data were entered into the Cochrane Collaboration Review Manager software and were analysed within a random effect framework. A quality assessment has been performed through Jadad Scale.
Results: Higher global functioning at the Children's Global Assessment Scale was found in the combined treatment group (p < 0.0001) as well as higher improvement at the Clinical Global Impressions Improvement Scale (p = 0.04). No benefit of combined treatment was found on depressive symptomatology at the Children's Depression Rating Scale – Revised.
Conclusion: Combined treatment seems to be more effective than antidepressant alone on global functioning and general improvement in adolescents with major depressive and anxiety disorders.
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