Examining the evidence on complementary and alternative therapies to treat peripartum depression in pregnant or postpartum women: study protocol for an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Julien Dubreucq*, Astrid M. Kamperman, Nadia Al-Maach, Wichor M. Bramer, Francisca Pacheco, Ana Ganho-Avila, Mijke Lambregtse-van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Complementary and alternative therapies (CATs) refer to a diverse range of approaches that can be used as add-on or an alternative to conventional therapies. While a number of individual studies and systematic reviews (SRs) or meta-analyses (MAs) have investigated the effectiveness of specific types of CATs to treat depressive symptoms at specific moments of the perinatal period, an overarching synthesis of the literature is currently lacking. We will conduct an umbrella review of SRs and MAs to assess to which extent CATs are associated with depressive symptoms reduction during pregnancy or after childbirth. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search a broad set of electronic databases (MEDLINE via Ovid, Embase.com, CINAHL via EBSCOhost, PsycINFO via Ovid, AMED and Google Scholar). We will include SRs with or without MAs meeting the following criteria: (1) the review should focus mostly on individual studies reporting a randomised controlled design; (2) diagnosis should be made during pregnancy or during the post partum using a clinical interview according to DSM or ICD criteria; (3) the reviewed intervention should start during pregnancy or in the first postpartum year and meet the criteria for being considered as CAT. The main outcome will be depressive symptoms reduction during pregnancy or after childbirth. Secondary outcomes will include the remission of depression according to DSM criteria and intervention acceptability. Overlap between reviews will be described, quantified and discussed. We will rate the quality of the included SRs or MAs using the AMSTAR-2 tool. MAs will be performed by using the data from the individual RCT studies included in the SRs or MAs. Sensitivity analyses restricted to studies with a low-moderate risk of bias will be realised. Publication bias will be examined visually by using a funnel plot, and formally using the Egger's test and test of excess significance. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: We intend to publish the results of the umbrella review in an international peer-reviewed journal. Oral presentations in congresses and internal diffusion through the Rise up-PPD European COST Action network are also planned. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021229260.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere057327
Pages (from-to)e057327
JournalBMJ Open
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding:
This article/publication is based on work from COST Action18138-
Research Innovation and Sustainable Pan-European Network in Peripartum
Depression Disorder (Riseup-PPD), supported by COST (European Cooperation
in Science and Technology). www.cost.eu. AG-A is supported by the Portuguese
Foundation for Science and Technology (Individual Call to Scientific Employment
Stimulus—third Edition 2019—2020.02059.CEECIND).The Centre for Research
in Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioural Intervention (CINEICC) of the
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra
is supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and
the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science through national funds and
cofinanced by FEDER through COMPETE2020 under the PT2020 Partnership
Agreement (UID/PSI/01662/2013).

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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