Last updated on September 2018

Group CBT for PPD in the Public Health Setting


Brief description of study

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects over 14,000 women in Ontario each year and can have profound effects on mothers, their children, and their families. The cost of one case of PPD exceeds $150,000, a significant proportion of which is related to its impact on offspring. However, difficulties accessing preferred treatments (e.g., psychotherapy) result in fewer than 15% of women receiving care. While Public Health Units have played an important role in PPD detection in Ontario, Public Health Nurses (PHNs) currently lack the skills to deliver evidence-based treatment to women. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) delivered in group format is effective for treating depression in the perinatal period, and as PHNs are often the first point of contact for women experiencing PPD, with specialized training it is likely that they can deliver high-quality CBT.

The primary objective of this study is to determine if PHNs can be trained to deliver group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to acutely treat PPD, reduce relapse and recurrence, improve mother-infant attachment and parenting and optimize infant emotional functioning.

Detailed Study Description

In addition to its effects on maternal health, PPD can adversely affect mother-infant attachment, parenting, and the development and health of her children. The negative effects of PPD on offspring can include an increased risk of insecure attachment, poorer cognitive, language, and behavioral development, as well as an increased risk of emotion regulatory problems. To determine if PHNs can effectively deliver group CBT for PPD that is superior to postnatal care as usual, the investigators will proceed with a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Women in the treatment group will attend a 9-week group CBT intervention delivered by trained PHNs. Those in the control group will receive standard postnatal care.

This RCT will compare the effects of group CBT to postnatal care as usual on maternal depression, anxiety, mother-infant attachment, parenting, healthcare utilization and social support, as well as infant development, emotion regulation, and healthcare utilization

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03039530

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Recruitment Status: Open


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