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N Z Med J. 1995 Nov 24;108(1012):476-8.

Telephone support for pregnant women: outcome in late pregnancy.

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Department of Public Health and General Practice, Christchurch School of Medicine.



The aim of the study was to test the psychosocial benefits of a telephone support program for pregnant women.


Randomised controlled trial. The study sample were women recruited from an antenatal clinic and general practice surgeries who were less than 20 weeks gestation and either single or in a relationship where the partner was unemployed. Women in the intervention group received weekly telephone calls throughout their pregnancy. All women were interviewed initially and at 34 weeks gestation. There were 66 women in the control group and 65 women in the intervention group.


The intervention and control groups did not differ significantly on the psychosocial measures at baseline. Comparisons at 34 weeks were made by analysis of covariance using the baseline scores. The intervention group at 34 weeks had lower stress scores than the control group (means 16.5 vs 18.4, p = 0.02), lower trait anxiety (means 35.2 vs 39.4, p = 0.04) and less depressed mood (means 6.6 vs 8.1, p = 0.02). Self esteem was higher for the intervention group (means 34.9 vs 32.5, p = 0.008). The intervention failed to alter smoking but the intervention women did report more use of community resources (p = 0.02) and were less likely to skip meals (p = 0.03).


A low cost health promotion program of telephone support during pregnancy can significantly improve a woman's psychosocial status during pregnancy.

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