Introduction: Anxiety has become an increasing concern for women throughout the perinatal period. The mainstay treatment for anxiety in pregnancy is pharmacotherapy, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Less often are nonpharmacologic interventions offered, despite an increasing demand for alternative treatment options. Therefore, this gap in care necessitates the need for further research into nonpharmacologic treatment options. This integrative review investigates the efficacy of several different nonpharmacologic interventions for the treatment of anxiety during pregnancy. Methods: This integrative review utilized the Whittemore and Knafl methodology (2005) as a framework to guide the review process. Database searches were conducted across CINAHL, PubMed and Scopus, yielding a total of 241 articles. Articles were screened in Covidence 2.0, according to a set eligibility criteria. A total of 20 articles were selected for this review. Results: Several nonpharmacologic therapies were reviewed for their efficacy in treating anxiety in pregnancy. These therapies included cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, yoga and physical activity, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and music therapy. This review found all selected therapies to show some benefit in reducing anxiety symptoms throughout pregnancy. Discussion: Though this is an area that has not been comprehensively investigated, the use of nonpharmacologic treatments have shown to be a promising alternative treatment option for managing anxiety during pregnancy. Further research is necessary to better determine the degree of efficacy of nonpharmacologic therapies for the treatment of anxiety in pregnancy.
Gratz, M. K., & Sola, K. R. (2022). Nonpharmacologic Interventions for the Treatment of Anxiety in Pregnancy [Masterʼs thesis, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/796