Background: Depression and anxiety are the most common mental disorders and currently, they constitute one of the main causes of disability and death. The high prevalence of psychiatric disorders and their increasing burden are noteworthy. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of community-based preventive interventions for depression and anxiety in women.
Methods: We systematically searched for articles published up to the beginning of 2018, which addressed community-based preventive interventions for depression and anxiety in women. The studies were searched in PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, PsycInfo, IranMedex, SID and EMBASE electronic databases. Articles that complied with our inclusion criteria (preventive interventions involving healthy adult women aged 18 to 65 years) were reviewed. Quality assessment of the articles was performed using standard tools. We extracted the required data and reported the results in a narrative form.
Results: Twenty-three articles were identified and entered into the final review. Depression and anxiety symptoms were decreased in more than 70% of interventions. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exercise were the most effective interventions. In addition, computer and internet-based programs had positive outcomes in both categories of depression and anxiety.
Conclusion: Community-based preventive programs for depression and anxiety in women had promising and positive results. CBT and exercise were the most effortless, yet the most effective interventions to apply. Computer and internet-based programs had the benefit of covering many people simultaneously. These interventions are cost-effective and feasible among Iranian women.