• Women's Health Research
Research Article

The Role of Attentional Bias in Prenatal and Postpartum Depression

Women`s Health Research 1: 1
Received: 08 July 2017, Accepted: 01 February 2018, Published: 06 April 2018


While depression affects a significant number of women during pregnancy and the postpartum period, few women seek out clinical services. Prenatal depression predicts depression postpartum, and is associated with detrimental consequences for the developing child. Therefore, prenatal and postpartum depression has a two-generation impact on health and well-being. Novel approaches are needed to identify and treat women vulnerable to depression, recognizing the unique demands of motherhood that may impede access to diagnostic and treatment services. Recent research has emphasized the importance of biased attentional processing in increasing risk for depressive episodes. Importantly, this work has led to the development of cognitive training interventions that modify attention biases and improve depressive symptoms. This attention bias modification training (ABMT) approach is feasible, flexible, and effective in reducing depression symptoms. Web-based implementations of these trainings have shown great promise in depression treatment and prevention. ABMT has yet to be used during pregnancy or postpartum but may hold great promise for depression treatment and prevention while allowing for flexibility in implementation.

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