Effectiveness of Telephone-based Interpersonal Psychotherapy on Antenatal Depressive Symptoms: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial in The Kingdom of Jordan

Sana Abujelban, Hasan Al-Omari, Esra'a Issa, Ayat ALhamdan, Lama Al-nabulsi, Lina Mrayan, Khadejah Mahmoud, W.George Kernohan

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BACKGROUND: Jordanian pregnant women report high prevalence of antenatal depressive symptoms, compared to their counterparts internationally. One potential nonpharmacological intervention is Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), accessed by telephone.

AIM: The aim of this study is to compare the depressive symptom level(s) among Jordanian pregnant women who received IPT treatment with those who received routine antenatal care.

METHODS: A prospective randomized controlled trial design was used. Following ethical approval, a sample of 100 pregnant women (50 in each group) at 24 to 37 weeks gestation, was drawn from one governmental public hospital. Seven sessions (each half an hour) of telephone-based IPT were offered twice weekly to those assigned to the intervention arm: one pretherapy orientation, five intermediates, and one closing session. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was administered before and after the intervention. Analysis of covariance was used to detect the intervention effect. The two groups were matched based on demographic and health characteristics.

RESULTS: Compared to the control group, pregnant women who received the intervention reported fewer depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Midwives and general nurses should screen all pregnant women for symptoms of depression. The effectiveness of IPT treatment in alleviating depressive symptoms indicates the importance of using such supportive interventions by midwives and general nurses, who are trained in psycho-educational counseling techniques. Moreover, data provided by this study may encourage policymakers to legislate policies that make psychotherapists available and accessible in antenatal care units and ensure that staff have adequate training via continuing education programs to screen for antenatal depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Early online date6 May 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 6 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the Hashemite University (grant no: 1501724/10/13/16).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • Antenatal
  • depression
  • RCT
  • antenatal depression
  • interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Jordan


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