Training of nonspecialist providers with no formal training in counseling has proven to be an effective strategy to offer more widespread, evidence-based counseling interventions. The objective of this study is to identify the relevant implementation processes, along with assessing the effectiveness of counseling interventions delivered by nonspecialist providers for anxiety and perinatal depression.

This systematic review and meta-analysis included randomized clinical trials of counseling interventions that examined anxiety or depression after intervention delivered by a nonspecialist provider. The primary outcomes of the study were the implementation process assessed by the frequencies of estimated percentage and the effectiveness measured by the primary and secondary outcome data of depression and anxiety.

A total of 46 trials with 18,321 participants were included in the study. Implementations were implemented across 11 countries, and 65% of counseling interventions were provided by midwives and nurses. When compared with controls, counseling interventions were associated with lower anxiety scores and depression symptoms. Besides, treatment interventions were effective for both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

The research concluded that nonspecialist providers in high-income countries could be effective in providing counseling interventions. However, more research is required to confirm whether digital interventions are as effective as physical sessions.