Last updated on March 2018

Development Feasibility and Acceptability of Fathers and Babies (FAB): A Pilot Study


Brief description of study

During this project the investigators will develop and pilot test a companion intervention for fathers (Fathers and Babies-FAB), to supplement the Mothers and Babies Course (MB) that provides stress and mood management tools for home visiting clients. Focus groups with prior study participants, their male partners, and home visiting staff will be used to develop the FAB curriculum and protocol. FAB text messages aim to improve the mental health of the male partner and help him support his partner's mental health. Feasibility, acceptability, and outcome measures will be supplemented with assessments of fathers' mental health and partners' relationships. Participant assessments will be conducted at baseline, 3 and 6 months in this uncontrolled pilot study. The public health significance and innovation of this project is substantial. If the investigators are able to integrate MB-TXT and MB-DAD into home visiting programs and generate improved mental health outcomes for home visiting clients and their partners, the investigators will be prepared to replicate this intervention across home visiting programs nationally at a time when home visitation as a service delivery model for families with infants and young children is rapidly proliferating through federal funding.

Detailed Study Description

Enhancements to Mothers and Babies are warranted to address the mental health of both parents, via the home visitation service delivery model where many of the most at-risk families enter into provider-client relationships during their child's infancy and early childhood.

Previous postpartum depression preventive interventionsincluding MBhave neglected to intervene with partners of pregnant women, despite the growing recognition that paternal depression also exerts influence on children's social-emotional development and occurs in a similar time-frame. Thus, in an otherwise successful intervention, these limitationsmixed success in improving hypothesized intervention mechanisms and limited engagement of fathersmay mitigate intervention efficacy. Paternal depression is hypothesized to mediate the relationship between MB modules and maternal mental health outcomes.

This study addresses this limitation. The investigators will collaborate with 10-12 home visiting (HV) programs serving primarily low-income families. The investigators will recruit 24 mother-father dyads for an uncontrolled pilot in which mothers will receive MB-TXT and fathers will receive FAB, a pilot curriculum developed using existing materials and data collected via qualitative research with home visiting clients, their partners, and home visiting staff.

Aim 1. To develop and determine the feasibility and acceptability of a) conducting the MB-DAD intervention protocol and b) assessing paternal and dyadic outcomes across two home visiting programs. Focus groups with prior trial participants, their male partners, and home visiting staff will generate information on a) intervention content, b) frequency of contact, and c) relationship to MB materials received by their partner.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03427528

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Northwestern University

Chicago, IL United States
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Recruitment Status: Open


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