Cognitive-behavioral counseling and mental health of pregnant women

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 6, February 2020
Jalali A., Heydarpour S., Tohidinejad F., Salari N.
Background: Pregnancy is characterized with several physical and mental changes in women. These changes cause mental health problems in pregnant women and especially in nulliparous women. Objective: To determine the effects of cognitive-behavioral counseling on mental health of pregnant women. Method: The study was carried out as a quality of life clinical trial with a control group. The participants were 60 pregnant women (less than 20 weeks) who visited Kamyaran-based health centers (Iran) in 2018. The participants were allocated randomly to experiment and control groups (n = 30 each). The experiment group attended eight group behavioral cognitive counseling sessions (70-90min) on weekly basis. Pre-intervention data was collected using a demographics checklist and Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire. One month after the last counseling session, the questionnaires were filled out once more by all the participants. The data was analyzed using Mann-Whitney, independent t-test, Friedman, and Chi Squared tests using SPSS (23). Results: The results showed that the difference between the control and experiment groups in terms of mental health score was not significant before the intervention (p = 0.169). However, the difference between the two groups was significant immediately (p = 0.001) and one month (p = 0.001) after the group behavioral cognitive counseling. Conclusion: The group behavioral cognitive counseling sessions improved mental health in nulliparous women. Further studies with longer follow-up terms to ensure resilience of the effects of such interventions are recommended. Obstetrics; Pregnancy; Psychiatry; Public Health; Quality of Life; Women's Health; mental health; Behavioral Cognitive Consultation; Nulliparous.