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Title: The treatment of postnatal depression with exercise : a randomised controlled trial, qualitative study and systematic review
Author: Pritchett, Ruth Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 5863
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis investigated the effectiveness of exercise in the treatment of postnatal depression (PND). PND is highly prevalent, affecting mothers, families and child development. Exercise is currently recommended to mothers with PND, potentially offering fewer side effects than antidepressants and wider accessibility than psychological treatments. This thesis reported three studies. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigated the effectiveness of an exercise counselling intervention, in addition to usual care, in treating PND. This intervention provided a moderate, non-significant decrease in depression compared to usual care alone. A qualitative study found that exercise was viewed as acceptable and often preferable to antidepressants in the treatment of PND. A range of mechanisms via which exercise produced psychosocial benefits were proposed, including improving self-confidence and supporting personal identity after childbirth. A systematic review with meta-analysis of RCTs of exercise interventions for PND concluded that exercise can be effective in reducing depression in general and depressed postnatal populations. Preliminary findings suggested the importance of social support within such interventions. Exercise is likely to be effective in the treatment of PND and should therefore be recommended to mothers. However, further research investigating the relative effectiveness of different intervention designs would be valuable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: National Institute of Health Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RG Gynecology and obstetrics