Date of Award

Spring 4-21-2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

Kieran O’Donnell, PhD


Peripartum depression is a prevalent mental health disorder characterized by clinically significant depressive symptoms that can markedly impair maternal functioning, mother-infant bonding, and infant development. Current treatments for peripartum depression include pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, but cost, time investment, and potential adverse effects limit their effectiveness. Auricular acupressure has been shown to improve a variety of conditions, however, there is a lack of application in peripartum depression. In this study, we propose to determine whether magnetic bead auricular acupressure reduces symptoms in mothers with peripartum depression. Using a randomized controlled trial, we will assign patients to either acupressure or sham acupressure groups and examine changes in depressive symptoms using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale after 4 weeks of treatment. The results of this study will provide insight on the effectiveness of auricular acupressure and may ultimately expand treatment options for peripartum depression with a safe, cost-effective, and patient-acceptable intervention.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access