Mental health

Maternal mental health interventions to improve child development

Question 1: What are the effective maternal mental health interventions to improve child development outcomes in early infancy in non-specialist settings?

Management of child and adolescent mental disorders

  • Population: mothers and infants in low and middle income countries
  • Interventions: maternal mental health interventions (psychosocial support to mothers including home visiting, psycho-education, improving mothers' knowledge on child rearing practices, parent training programmes)
  • Comparison: treatment as usual or no intervention
  • Outcomes:
    • child growth and development outcomes
    • maternal mood or depression
    • mother-infant interaction.

Recommendation(s)

For poorly nourished, frequently ill and other groups of at risk children, parenting interventions promoting mother-infant interactions including psychosocial stimulation should be offered to improve child development outcomes. Such programmes should be delivered preferably within ongoing mother and child health programmes.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

To improve child development outcomes, mothers with depression or with any other mental, neurological or substance use condition should be treated using effective interventions (see recommendations for treatment of depression and other mental, neurological or substance use conditions).
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Additional psychosocial support should be offered to mothers with depression or with any other mental, neurological or substance use condition including home visiting, psycho-education, improving mothers' knowledge on child rearing practices.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile

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