The effectiveness of psychoeducation interventions on prenatal attachment: A systematic review

Wing Shan YUEN, Hiu Ching LO, Wing Nga WONG, Fei Wan NGAI

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Positive prenatal attachment facilitates parental role adaptation and psychological adjustment during pregnancy, which is a significant predictor of postpartum attachment. The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effect of psychoeducation interventions on prenatal attachment of pregnant women and their partners. Design: Systematic literature searches of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted from January 2000 to January 2021, using databases: CINAHL, Embase, Medline, PsycInfo, PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial and through hand-searching. Studies were independently selected by two reviewers, who also assessed the methodological quality of the included studies using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Narrative synthesis was conducted due to the significant clinical and methodological heterogeneity. Setting/participants: Fifteen studies met the eligibility criteria for this review, among which 11 studies focused on pregnant women and four studies on their partners. Findings: The psychoeducation interventions in the included studies showed consistent favorable effects on prenatal attachment. Nine out of the 11 included studies showed statistical significant effects on maternal fetal attachment. Three out of the four studies reported significant effects favoring paternal fetal attachment. Key conclusions and implications for practice: The preliminary evidence suggests that psychoeducation interventions have potential favorable effects on maternal fetal attachment and can enhance paternal fetal attachment. However, more studies are needed for investigating the effects of psychoeducation on paternal fetal attachment and for enhancing the validity of the evidence. Our review recommends that healthcare professionals to include psychoeducation as a part of their prenatal care for promoting prenatal attachment. Common characteristics of the interventions could act as references when designing psychoeducation programs for enhancing prenatal attachment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103184
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Maternal fetal attachment
  • paternal fetal attachment
  • pregnant women
  • prenatal attachment
  • psychoeducation
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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