185397 Symptom reduction among women enrolled in a dyadic home-based therapeutic intervention for postpartum depression

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rendelle Bolton, MSW, MA , School of Social Work, Boston University, Boston, MA
Ruth Paris, PhD , Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA
Postpartum mood disorders constitute a serious public health problem in prevalence, incidence, and disease burden. Affecting 12-25% of childbearing women, postpartum depression negatively impacts mothers, infants, and families, disrupts the mother-infant relationship and bonding process, and impairs infant physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. Responding to this population's needs, a community agency developed a program providing relationship-based therapeutic home-visits to mothers experiencing serious postpartum mood disorders as early as 2-3 weeks postpartum. This short-term dyadic intervention focuses on strengthening maternal competence and the parent-child relationship, and transcends office-based treatment barriers by providing therapy in the home and including the infant in treatment. This study compares baseline and post-treatment data from a multi-method pilot study to evaluate symptom changes experienced by mothers during program enrollment.

Measures used for this study include the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale, the Maternal Self-Report Inventory, and the Parenting Stress Index. Twenty mothers completed baseline and post-treatment measures.

At baseline, mothers were profoundly depressed, suicidal, had poor self-esteem, and clinically significant levels of parenting stress. T-tests comparing pre and post-treatment data show significant reduction of postpartum depression, suicidality, and stress, dropping below clinically significant levels by post-treatment. Maternal self-esteem also increased significantly during enrollment.

Our results provide preliminary support for the utility of this intervention in that mothers showed positive changes in mood and improved self-esteem after their enrollment. Increasing access to treatment for postpartum depression via home-based therapy is important to promoting maternal and infant well-being. Future research is needed to determine the efficacy of this intervention.

Learning Objectives:
1. After viewing this poster, participants will be able to identify the public health concerns associated with postpartum depression. 2. After viewing this poster, participants will be able to explain the ways in which this intervention transcends traditional treatment barriers. 3. After viewing this poster, participants will be able to describe the significant pre to post treatment symptom changes experienced by study participants enrolled in this intervention program.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I am a senior research assistant and collaborator on this research project. This abstract is co-authored with the principal investigator of this research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.