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BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 23 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1744

Sleep deprivation leads to low mood and depression, and mothers of young children are likely to be affected. An Australian study tested a behavioural intervention designed to improve infants’ sleep, evaluating maternal depression and parenting style, as well as childhood mental health and sleep at age 2 years. The intervention was delivered by “well child” nurses when the children were 8-10 months old. At age 2 years, mothers in the intervention group reported less depression than controls, but neither parenting style nor child mental health differed between the groups (Pediatrics 2008;122:e621-7, doi:10.1542/peds.2007-3783).

Another study of depression looked at the possibility of preventing depression by using psychological interventions. Cognitive behavioural therapy seems to be the flavour of the month in the UK, but a meta-analysis in the American Journal of Psychiatry (published online 2 September 2008; doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07091422) reports that prevention of depression may be more successful with interpersonal psychotherapy than with …

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