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Title: Mums4Mums : structured telephone peer-support for women experiencing postnatal depression : a pilot RCT to test its clinical effectiveness
Author: Sembi, Sukhdev
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 1091
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: Postnatal Depression (PND) is experienced by around 13% of women, who suffer a range of disabling symptoms that can have a negative effect on the mother and infant relationship, with significant consequences in terms of the child's later mental health. Research has shown that providing support to mothers experiencing PND can help reduce their depressive symptoms and improve their coping strategies. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of telephone peer-support for women experiencing PND. Methods/Design: A pilot RCT was conducted in which women who screened positive for postnatal depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS > =10) were randomised to receive telephone-based support from peers who had recovered from PND, or standard care. Primary outcome measures included depressive symptomatology measured post-intervention and at six-months using the EPDS, and parent-infant interaction using the CARE-Index. Secondary outcome measures included anxiety and depression, dyadic adjustment, parenting stress, and self-efficacy. Maternal perceptions of the telephone peer-support were being assessed using semi-structured interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data was also collected from the peer-supporters to assess the impact on them of delivering the intervention. Results: Participants: twenty-eight participants were recruited to the study, and there was a fifty-percent dropout rate (intervention group n=6, control group n=8). While there were no differences in EPDS scores between the two groups at post-intervention, the intervention group continued to improve at six-month follow-up, whereas the control group showed signs of relapse. The intervention had no impact on mother-infant interaction. In-depth interview data show that women valued the support that was provided. Peer-Supporters: nineteen peer-supporters were recruited, of whom five left before supporting a participant, and eight left after supporting only one participant. The quantitative results showed a significant non-clinical increase in anxiety at post intervention. The qualitative results indicated that the peer-supporters found the majority of calls challenging, and that delivering the intervention had had a deleterious impact on some peer-supporters. Conclusion: While these findings suggest a positive impact of telephone-based peer-support, further research into ways of improving mother-infant interaction are urgently required. Research is also required into providing effective support for the peer supporters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RG Gynecology and obstetrics