Last updated on January 2020

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) During Pregnancy


Brief description of study

The study is a pilot randomized control trial of a validated intervention, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) adapted for pregnancy, developed to reduce risk for postpartum depression. This study examines emotion regulation as a potential mechanism of action, at both the behavioral and neurobiological level, that carries forward to the postpartum period. A secondary mechanism of action to be explored is cognitive control. This study will also consider other potential influences on treatment response and psychiatric outcomes, including perinatal stress and depressive symptoms. The study population is pregnant women age 21-45.

Detailed Study Description

The study will involve an online screen of potentially eligible pregnant women. If participants are eligible after the online screen, they will be invited in for an in person assessment, including cognitive testing and a diagnostic interview, to determine eligibility. After the assessment, they will be informed of their eligibility status and, if applicable, randomized to Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or treatment as usual (TAU). Participants in the MBCT group will complete 8 weekly, 2 hr group therapy sessions during pregnancy, as well as receive TAU. The TAU group will engage in regular care during pregnancy and be offered the option to attend one mindfulness psychoeducation session postpartum. Participants in the MBCT group will complete questionnaires prior to the 1st group session, after the 4th session, and after the 8th/final session. Participants in the TAU group will complete the same questionnaires at equivalent time points. All participants will come in for an in-person session at 34 weeks GA, during which they will complete questionnaires and a brief clinical interview. Participants will come in for an MRI scan session at 6 weeks postpartum. In addition to structural and functional MRI scanning, they will also complete questionnaires, a cognitive task, and brief psychiatric interview. At 6 months postpartum, participants will return for a visit, during which they will complete questionnaires, cognitive measures, and a clinical interview. This will be the final visit for women in the MBCT group. Women in the TAU group will complete a singe mindfulness psychoeducation session between 6 and 9 months postpartum; this must occur after their 6 month visit.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03809572

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Recruitment Status: Open


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