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Parent-infant psychotherapy: a systematic review of the evidence for improving parental and infant mental health

Barlow, J; Bennett, C; Midgley, N; Larkin, SK; Wei, Y; (2016) Parent-infant psychotherapy: a systematic review of the evidence for improving parental and infant mental health. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology , 34 (5) pp. 464-482. 10.1080/02646838.2016.1222357. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Parent–infant psychotherapy (PIP) is a psychodynamic intervention with parent–infant dyads, designed to address regulatory disturbances in infancy and problems in the parent–infant relationship. AIMS: This systematic review aimed to examine whether PIP is effective in improving the parent–infant relationship or other aspects of parent or infant functioning. METHODS: A systematic review was undertaken. Electronic databases were searched for randomised controlled trials in which participants had been allocated to a PIP intervention or control group/other treatment. RESULTS: Eight studies were identified that provided data comparing parent–infant psychotherapy with a no-treatment control group (four studies) or comparing PIP with other kinds of treatment (four studies). Meta-analyses indicated that parents who received PIP were more likely to have an infant who was rated as being securely attached to the parent after the intervention; however, there were no significant differences in studies comparing outcomes of PIP with another model of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Although PIP appears to be a promising method of improving infant attachment security, there is inconclusive evidence of its benefits in terms of other outcomes, and no evidence to show that it is more effective than other interventions for parents and infants. Many studies had limitations in their design or implementation, and findings must be interpreted with caution.

Type: Article
Title: Parent-infant psychotherapy: a systematic review of the evidence for improving parental and infant mental health
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2016.1222357
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2016.1222357
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology on 15 September 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02646838.2016.1222357.
Keywords: Systematic review, parent–infant psychotherapy, attachment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1527354
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