INTRODUCTION: Post-partum depression (PPD) is a neurotic condition, which appears usually within two months after the delivery. This is the most common complication of pregnancy and puerperium, affecting about 15 to 20% of the mothers. In Israel, with some 150,000 deliveries annually, this relates to about 20,000 women each year. Routine treatment with psychotherapy (PT), helps about two thirds of these women. Continuation of the maternal symptoms affects the baby's development, and the rest of the family as well.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the additional value of art therapy (AT), compared to standard therapy, with PT alone, to eradicate symptoms of depression.
METHODS: A prospective, randomized controlled study was conducted. During the period 2011-2013, a total of 141 Arab mothers with symptoms of PPD, from the Um-El-Fahem region, were included in the study. A comparison was made between two groups: The control group receiving routine treatment with PT and the intervention group which received, in addition, AT.
RESULTS: Both groups demonstrated a reduction in the level of depressive symptoms. In the intervention group, however, the reduction in the level of depressive symptoms was statistically more significant (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, the combination of standard PT with AT enabled the vast majority of the mothers to recover from the depressive state. In a health care system with chronic budgetary constraints, the addition of some cardboard and plasticine to the "Health Basket", coupled with a few hours with a trained therapist, is probably a worthy alternative, considering the scope of the problem and its influence on the mother, the baby, and the family as a whole.
SUMMARY: The appearance of PPD symptoms is a common and significant medical condition. These attributes make this phenomenon a significant problem from the public health perspective. Routine treatment with PT, helps a lot of women. Many, however, remain symptomatic. The addition of AT enables most of them to resume a normal and healthy course of life.
|Pages (from-to)||568-72, 608|
|State||Published - 1 Sep 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)