Program

Jan 16, 2013

OVERVIEW

The Interpersonal Psychotherapy Program is a
manualized therapy treatment developed to help recent mothers who are
experiencing postpartum depression. The therapy program is a short-term
intervention which lasts approximately 3 months and has previously been
effective in treating postpartum depression. A randomized, experimental
evaluation of the program foundthat it
was effective in reducing parental stress but
that it had no impacts on infant-outcomes such
asĀ infant emotionality, temperament,
behavior problems, attachment security, or the quality of the parent-child
relationship. The program was found to reduce levels of parental stress.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Women with infants who are experiencing
postpartum depression

The Interpersonal
Psychotherapy Program is a standard, clinic-based therapy program for mothers
who are experiencing postpartum depression. The program consists of weekly
hour-long sessions which continue for 12 weeks. In each session, parents meet
with a trained therapist to discuss the identification of depression, depression
in the individual, and understanding depression’s link to past and present
relationships. Other topics addressed by the therapy sessions were loss of
social/work relationships, conflict with partners and family, losses associated
with birth, social role transitions, plans for treatment, and plans for
termination of therapy and what to do if depression returns.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Forman, D. R.,
O’Hara, M. W., Stuart, S., Gorman, L. L., Larsen, K. E., & Coy, K. C. (2007).
Effective treatment for postpartum depression is not sufficient to improve the
developing mother-child relationship. Development and Psychopathology, 19,
585-602.

Evaluated population:
A total of 120 women and their infants who were
experiencing postpartum depression as defined by DSM-IV, the Inventory to
Diagnose Depression, and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.
Additionally, not part of the random assignment study, a non-depressed control
group of 56 women were selected for a non-equivalent control group. Nearly all
participants were non-Hispanic whites. The average age of mothers was 30.6
years, and, on average, mothers had received 15 years of schooling.

Approach:
Mothers were screened for depression using three diagnostic tools for
depression. After meeting criteria for major depressive episodes, 60 parents
were randomly assigned to the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Treatment condition,
and 60 were assigned to a waitlist control group which received no
intervention. During the treatment period, mothers were instructed to stop
using all psychotropic medications or receive any other treatments. The program
began when infants were 6 months old and lasted for 12 weeks. Parents and
children were visited before and after the treatment program was provided to the
program group. At the baseline visit, mothers and infants were visited to
confirm the presence of depression using self-report measures and interactions
between mother and infant were videotaped. At 12 weeks, after those in the
program group had completed treatment, mothers and children were again visited
and observational data from video tapes and self-report data from questionnaires
were collected. Participants were again assessed 18 months after the end of the
program. Parents and infants were assessed on measures of parent-child
interaction, parenting responsiveness, parenting stress, infant emotions, infant
temperament, infant attachment security, and infant behavior problems.

Results:
Attrition during the program was fairly low (89% completion). However,
attrition was higher at the 18-month follow-up period where 90% of the mothers
provided data on attachment security and only 67% provided data on temperament
and behavior problems. There were no differences between those who provided
data and those who did not except that those who completed all data collection
were slightly more likely to have higher education levels.

At 6 and 9 months,
mothers in the treatment group had lower levels of parenting stress than mothers
in the waitlist control group. However, the program had no impacts on maternal
responsiveness. The program also had no impacts on infant emotionality, infant
temperament, behavior problems, or the quality of the parent-child relationship
at any data collection period.

Non-experimental
analysis showed that mothers in the treatment group still had higher levels of
stress compared with non-depressed mothers in the comparison group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Treatment manual
is available from researcher Michael O’Hara upon request.

For more
information on postpartum depression see:

http://www.4therapy.com/consumer/conditions/item.php?uniqueid=7042&categoryid=415

References

Forman, D. R.,
O’Hara, M. W., Stuart, S., Gorman, L. L., Larsen, K. E., & Coy, K. C. (2007).
Effective treatment for postpartum depression is not sufficient to improve the
developing mother-child relationship. Development and Psychopathology, 19,
585-602.

O’Hara, M. W.,
Stuart, S., Gorman, L. L., & Wenzel, A. (2000). Efficacy of interpersonal
psychotherapy for postpartum depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57,
1039-1045.

KEYWORDS: Infants, Parent or Family Component, Manual Is Available, Clinic/Provider-Based, Counseling/Therapy, Depression/Mood Disorders, Other Social/Emotional Health, Other Behavioral Problems

Program
information last updated 12/17/08