Implications of Treatment for Perinatal Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Postpartum Depression

Bayan Odeh, Kevin Barnwell, Christopher Burleson, Alexis Garcia, Sanam Karamouz, Jocelyn Nguyen, Danielle Stewart


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POSTER - #PI1053

Implications of Treatment for Perinatal Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Postpartum Depression

Bayan Odeh, Kevin Barnwell, Christopher Burleson, Alexis Garcia, Sanam Karamouz, Jocelyn Nguyen, Danielle Stewart

● Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) consists of two classic, generalized symptom clusters: excessive worry and uncontrollable anxiety.
● Perinatal depressive and anxiety disorders are common with at least 8% experiencing GAD during pregnancy.
● Untreated GAD has damaging effects on both mother and infant including cognitive and behavioral impairment.
● As the use of pharmacological interventions in pregnancy are controversial, there appears to be uncertainty regarding the most appropriate interventions for management of perinatal anxiety. Since a potential link between perinatal anxiety and onset of postpartum depression has been identified, investigation is imperative.

PICO Question
In women, what is the effect of treatment (therapy and/or medication) on GAD compared with non-treatment during the perinatal window on the development of postpartum depression?

Search Strategy
Search Databases: Google Scholar, PubMed [NCBI], CINAHL [via EBSCO] Key Words: anxiety, perinatal, pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, postpartum depression

● Women who were given prophylactic treatment 3 days postnatal with SSRI’s experienced reduction of depressive and anxious symptoms. (LOE: II)
● 17-week trial of Sertraline immediately following birth reduced the rate of recurrence of postpartum depression and increased the time of recurrence. (LOE: I)
● Women who were given probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001), which is not contraindicated perinatally, during pregnancy until 6 months postpartum reported significantly lower depression and anxiety scores. (LOE: I)
● 8 weeks of partner-delivered chair massage helped improve perinatal moods and anxiety. (LOE: II)
● Mindfulness-integrated cognitive behavioral therapy showed to help alleviate anxiety and depression in pregnant women. (LOE: I)
● Women who suffered from anxiety disorders during pregnancy are more likely to have “intense postnatal depressive symptoms”. (LOE: II)
● Discontinuation of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy increased the risk of depression
● There are no consistent differences in risk level for birth weight outcomes, spontaneous abortion and preterm birth associated with the use of antidepressants during pregnancy in mothers with depression. (LOE: I)
● There is evidence to suggest a correlation between perinatal anxiety and depression with preterm birth and low birth weight. (LOE: I)

● Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and other alternative treatments are effective at reducing perinatal anxiety and depression.
● There is no significant risk for preterm birth or low birth weight in women who use antidepressant drugs during gestation
● There appears to be greater fetal risks associated with not treating depression and anxiety in pregnant women compared to treating depression.

Conclusions/Further Study
● The need for a definition of perinatal GAD in DSM criteria
● An increased need for screening for perinatal anxiety and depression in at-risk patients
● Further research for perinatal anxiety specifically, the birth outcomes associated with use of perinatal antidepressant treatment, and the correlation between perinatal anxiety and onset of PPD

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Slykerman, R. F., Hood, F., Wickens, K., Thompson, J., Murphy, R., Kang, J., . . . Mitchell, E. A. (2017). Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 in Pregnancy on Postpartum Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety: A Randomised Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial. EBioMedicine, 24, 159-165, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.09.013 2.
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