The effectiveness of telemedicine interventions, delivered exclusively during the postnatal period, on postpartum depression in mothers without history or existing mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis

N. Hanach*, N. de Vries, H. Radwan, N. Bissani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Postpartum depression, one of the most common forms of depression, is highly prevalent worldwide among women during childbirth. Despite available treatments for postpartum depression, numerous barriers hinder women to access care including time, financial constraints, and childcare concerns. Telemedicine interventions are suggested to be feasible to prevent and improve postpartum depression.Objective: To examine the effectiveness of telemedicine interventions - delivered exclusively during the postnatal period, on postpartum depression symptomatology in women with no history of mental disorders.Design: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses databases were used to identify relevant randomized controlled trials, until 7 January 2020. Studies were quality assessed using the Cochrane Library Risk of Bias Tool. The results of postpartum depression scores were pooled using a random effects model. Intervention completion rate and participants' satisfaction were reported in a narrative form, as secondary outcomes.Results: Ten trials including a total of 2366 participants, contributed data to the review. Seven studies were included in the quantitative synthesis. Women who received technology-based interventions, regardless of the type (web-based versus telephone-based), had a statistically significant improvement in postpartum depression (mean difference: -1.81, 95% CI: -2.68 to -0.93; P < .0001). The completion rate was 80% in the intervention groups compared to 76% in the control groups. Three studies reporting participants' satisfaction revealed that the participants were highly satisfied with the technology-based interventions.Conclusion: Overall, telemedicine interventions appear to be promising in preventing and improving postpartum depression. Further larger-scale high-quality research is required to establish an evidence-based telemedicine approach, in terms of structure, content, and providers. Future economic evaluation is also vital to evaluate the long-term use of telemedicine in improving postpartum depression.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102906
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Meta-analysis
  • Postnatal care
  • Postpartum depression
  • Systematic review
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine
  • meta-analysis
  • postnatal care
  • postpartum depression
  • systematic review
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

Cite this