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J Reprod Infant Psychol. 2018 Dec 17:1-12. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2018.1556788. [Epub ahead of print]

Pilot RCT of a social media parenting intervention for postpartum mothers with depression symptoms.

Author information

1
a Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences , The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
2
b Policylab: Center to Bridge Research Practice, & Policy , The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Roberts Center for Pediatric Research , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
3
c Research Department , Maternity Care Coalition , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
4
d Children's Research Center , University of Illinois , Champaign , IL , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This pilot study describes the adaptation of a parenting group intervention for social media, and examines the feasibility, acceptability and initial outcomes of the adapted intervention for mothers with postpartum depression symptoms.

BACKGROUND:

Postpartum depression can negatively affect parenting and the parent-infant relationship. Mothers with postpartum depression symptoms experience barriers to access in-person parenting interventions.

METHODS:

A small, randomised controlled trial was conducted with an adapted parenting intervention delivered via social media (Facebook) or in-person for mothers who screened positive for depression in paediatric clinics. Parenting sense of competence, depression symptoms and intervention attendance and satisfaction were assessed. Twenty-four mothers (mean age 26 years; predominantly African American with limited economic resources) participated in the study.

RESULTS:

Linear regressions showed that the social media group had significantly improved parenting competence and decreased depression severity when compared to the in-person group. Attendance in the social media group was high (83%), but extremely poor in the in-person group (3%). The mothers rated the intervention positively and the majority of the mothers participated by posting comments on the group page on social media.

CONCLUSION:

The findings suggest the feasibility and benefit of delivering a parenting intervention through social media for postpartum mothers with high levels of depression symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

Postnatal depression; intervention; parenting; technology

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