Treatment of postpartum depression

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Ongoing Projects

SBU assess relevant and well-conducted research and investigate what effect different interventions have, if there are any risks or ethical problems, and what is most cost-effective in the areas of health care, dentistry, social services, and within the areas of functional disability and work environment.


Postpartum depression is a relatively common complication after childbirth; an estimated 12–15% of new mothers suffer to some degree. Common symptoms are depression, difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt and thoughts of harming oneself or the child. Postpartum depression can also lead to consequences for the new-born, such as negative impact on its socio-emotional and cognitive development.

An episode of depression during the period after childbirth can be long-lasting and lead to future episodes of depression. It is therefore important that women with postpartum depression receive correct and effective treatment. In healthcare, different interventions are used, mainly psychological and pharmacological treatments.


The purpose is to evaluate the scientific support for the treatment of postpartum depression, and to explore women’s experiences of the treatment. The project does not include the effects of antidepressant medication, which is treated in a separate SBU Commentary. The evaluation will also shed light on health economic and ethical aspects.

Planned to be published: Quarter 4, 2022 Registration no: SBU 2021/299

Project group


  • Ewa Andersson, midwife, Ph.D., Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet
  • Anna Dencker, midwife, Ph.D, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg
  • Pamela Massoudi, clinical psychologist, Ph.D., Department of Research and Development, Region Kronoberg
  • Johan Åhlén, clinical psychologist, Ph.D., Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet

From SBU

  • Leif Strömwall, Project Manager
  • Naama Kenan Modén, Assistant Project Manager
  • Maja Kärrman Fredriksson, Information Specialist
  • Sara Fundell, Project Administrator
  • Jenny Berg, Health Economist
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