Protocol of a systematic review and network meta-analysis for the prevention and treatment of perinatal depression

Robert David Smith, Sze Chai Hung, Joyce Goh, Hoi Lam Ip, Daniel Yee Tak Fong, Shehzad Ali, Claire Anna Wilson, Kris Yuet Wan Lok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Perinatal depression is common and can often lead to adverse health outcomes for mother and child. Multiple pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments have been evaluated against usual care or placebo controls in meta-analyses for preventing and treating perinatal depression compared. It is not yet established which of these candidate treatments might be the optimal approach for prevention or treatment. Methods and analysis A systematic review and Bayesian network meta-analyses will be conducted. Eight electronic databases shall be searched for randomised controlled trials that have evaluated the effectiveness of treatments for prevention and/or treatment of perinatal depression. Screening of articles shall be conducted by two reviewers independently. One network meta-analysis shall evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in preventing depression during the perinatal period. A second network meta-analysis shall compare the effectiveness of treatments for depression symptoms in women with perinatal depression. Bayesian 95% credible intervals shall be used to estimate the pooled mean effect size of each treatment, and surface under cumulative ranking area will be used to rank the treatments' effectiveness. Ethics and dissemination We shall report our findings so that healthcare providers can make informed decisions on what might be the optimal approach for addressing perinatal depression to prevent cases and improve outcomes in those suffering from depression through knowledge exchange workshops, international conference presentations and journal article publications. PROSPERO registration number CRD42020200081.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere048764
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021


  • depression & mood disorders
  • maternal medicine
  • mental health


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