Prevention of postpartum depression: A pilot randomized clinical trial

Katherine L. Wisner, James M. Perel, Kathleen S. Peindl, Barbara H. Hanusa, Catherine M. Piontek, Robert L. Findling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors attempted to reduce the rate of post-partum depression in high-risk women and to increase the time to recurrence. Method: Nondepressed pregnant women with at least one past episode of postpartum major depression were recruited into a randomized clinical trial. Mothers were assigned randomly to a 17-week trial of sertraline or placebo immediately after birth and assessed for 20 sequential weeks with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Results: Of 14 subjects who took sertraline, one (7%) suffered a recurrence. of eight subjects who were assigned to placebo, four (50%) suffered recurrences. This difference was significant. The time to recurrence was significantly longer in the sertraline-treated women than in the placebo-treated women. Conclusions: Sertraline conferred preventive efficacy for post-partum-onset major depression beyond that of placebo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1292
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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