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Understanding women's experiences of care, and treatment preferences, is vital for delivering acceptable and useful services to women with perinatal depression. This systematic review synthesises evidence on care and treatment preferences of women with perinatal depression. This qualitative evidence synthesis uses systematic review methodology. Medline, PsychINFO, CINAHL and EMBASE were searched from January 2011 to October 2021. Search terms fell into five categories: depression, the perinatal period, treatment preferences, experiences of care and qualitative research. Study quality was assessed and thematic analysis was used to synthesise findings. Thirteen papers met the inclusion criteria. Quality of included papers was of moderate to high quality. Five key themes were identified: women prioritise family needs; perinatal-specific care; when care falls short; professional empathy; and tailored care. Clinicians need to enable mothers to prioritise their own well-being. Service providers should ensure that treatment is tailored to the specifics of the perinatal period, providing specialist advice around medication, and therapy that fits with the demands of caring for a new baby.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Womens Ment Health

Publication Date





311 - 319


Antenatal, Depression, Perinatal, Postnatal, Treatment, Pregnancy, Infant, Newborn, Child, Female, Humans, Depression, Parturition, Mothers, Perinatal Care, Qualitative Research