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Infant Behav Dev. 2012 Feb;35(1):36-47. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.09.006. Epub 2011 Oct 22.

Effects of early mother-infant intervention on outcomes in mothers and moderately and late preterm infants at age 1 year: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Woman & Children's Division, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, Norway.,



There is a dearth of knowledge about the effects of early interaction-based interventions on parenting and infant communication skills in moderately and late preterm infants.


Assess in a RCT the effects of the Mother-Infant Transaction program (MITP) on maternal depression and stress, breastfeeding and mothers' perception of infant temperament; and MITP's impact on preterm infant communication skills at 12 months.


Mothers/preterm infants (30-36 weeks) were randomly assigned to MITP (intervention group) or standard care (control group). Mean gestational age in the intervention group was 33.3±1.5 (n=56) and in the control group (n=50) 33.0±1.6. Outcomes were assessed by CES-D, Parenting Stress Index; WHO breast-feeding categories, Infant Behavior Questionnaire and The Pictorial Infant Communication Scales.


Intervention mothers reported significantly less postpartum depression one month after discharge (p=.04) and more breastfeeding at 9 months (p=.02). No significant group differences in favour of the intervention group were found on total parenting stress at 6 (p=.08) and 12 months (p=.46) or on perceived infant communication skills at 12 months (p=.86). The intervention mothers reported significantly less infant smile and laughter at 6 (p=.02) and 12 (p=.006) months and less motor activity at 12 months (p=.04).


The results suggest that MITP reduced postpartum depression and extended the period of breastfeeding, but did not support any positive effects of the intervention on self-reported maternal stress and perceived infant communication.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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