Review Articles

Aromatherapy for Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis


Objective: The incidence and prevalence of postpartum depression is increasing due to multiple factors. Aromatherapy is a widely used complementary and alternative (CAM) therapy in the management of depression. This systematic review and meta-analysis was done to find the effect of aromatherapy on postpartum depression.
Materials and methods: Electronic databases like PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library and Science Direct since inception till February 2021 were searched using related keywords to obtain eligible studies. Randomised controlled trial studies (RCTs) reporting the effects of aromatherapy therapy in women with postpartum depression were included. Aromatherapy studies conducted on population other than postpartum women were excluded. The primary outcome was depression scores obtained by using valid depression scales. Meta-analysis was performed using the random-effects model of Der Simonian and Laird to produce summary treatment effects in terms of Hedges' g effect sizes with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Results: A total of 4 RCTs (n=303) were included. The results indicate that aromatherapy (Hedges'
g =-0.94, 95 CI= -2.55, 0.61, I2=88%, p<0.01) reduces depression levels among postpartum women without statistical significance.
Conclusion: The available evidences suggest aromatherapy may be effective in reducing post-partum depression. The number of scientific evidences currently available are very limited and more studies with robust study designs are required to strongly recommend aromatherapy in the management of post-partum depressions. However, being a safer intervention with no adverse effects being reported in previous studies, aromatherapy could definitely be added as an effective complementary therapy in the management of post-partum depression along with conventional medicine.

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IssueVol 17, No 1 (March 2023) QRcode
SectionReview Articles
Aromatherapy Postpartum Women Meta-Analysis Naturopathy Depression

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How to Cite
Shamsunisha Y, Arunesh A, Pandiaraja M, Venugopal V, Poonguzhali S, Kuppusamy M. Aromatherapy for Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis. J Family Reprod Health. 2023;17(1):1-7.