A pilot study examining the effectiveness of a short-term, DBT informed, skills group for emotion dysregulation during the perinatal period.
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The perinatal period (pregnancy and the first-year postpartum) is a time of increased vulnerability to mental health difficulties including emotion dysregulation. Research conducted on treatments targeting emotion dysregulation during this time is limited. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) skills groups are considered the gold standard for targeting emotion dysregulation. We developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a seven-session DBT informed skills group (perinatal emotion regulation skills [Peri-ERS]) tailored to meet the unique emotion dysregulation experienced by women within the perinatal period. N = 41 perinatal women participated in the Peri-ERS group within the Women's Health Concern's Clinic, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. Participants completed a semistructured assessment to determine eligibility. They completed self-report symptom measures at baseline, Sessions 1-6, and posttreatment assessments. Paired-samples t tests, Cohen's d, and Friedman's rank tests were run to examine change over time. Reliable and clinical change index (RCI) analysis was conducted on emotion dysregulation. Participants demonstrated significant improvements in all symptom domain measures. Forty-eight percent of participants exhibited reliable clinical change on emotion dysregulation. These findings suggest the Peri-ERS group is effective in reducing emotion dysregulation symptoms for perinatal women. These results are promising as this novel treatment addresses a gap in the literature and may potentially be implemented in women's health clinics as a way of improving overall perinatal care. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
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