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The Role of Mindfulness Skills Training in Maternal Mental Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial (NCT03026959)

There is preliminary empirical support for the use of mindfulness interventions during the perinatal period; suggesting that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment approach for reducing depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy and reducing anxiety, stress, and psychological distress during the postpartum period. To extend on these findings, the purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief mindfulness-based program in protecting maternal mental health and well-being using a randomized controlled trial.
  • Behavioral: Mindfulness
    The mindfulness intervention follows the structure described by Short, Mazmanian, Ozen, & Bédard, (2015).
    Ages eligible for Study
    18 Years and older
    Genders eligible for Study
    Accepts Healthy Volunteers
    Accepts Healthy Volunteers
    Inclusion Criteria:
    • pregnant, age 18 years and older, able and willing to attend the study site for the four group sessions, between 14 and 33 weeks gestation (inclusive) as of the first intervention group or comparison group session.
    Exclusion Criteria:
    • presence of a current severe mental health condition or mental heath difficulties that would be better addressed through another form of therapy, active use of any psychotropic medication at baseline, active major medical illness including significant obstetric complications, inability to give informed consent, inability to speak or understand English, at high risk for delivery before reaching full term (38 weeks gestation), or previous completion of a structured mindfulness-based program.
    Based on the results reported in the existing literature that show that formal mindfulness-based practice is effective for improving mental health status and preventing depressive symptom relapse, this research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief mindfulness-based program, offered during pregnancy, in reducing mothers' psychological symptoms during pregnancy and the postpartum period. A brief program has the advantage being more economical to facilitate compared to full-length programs and also requires a shorter commitment from pregnant women, who are also attempting to manage multiple other new and existing demands (e.g., obstetrics appointments, work).

    As emerging research suggests that women are particularly vulnerable to increased depressive, anxious, obsessive, compulsive, and hypomanic symptoms during the perinatal period these are the main psychological symptoms that will be assessed. As well, perceived stress and psychological resiliency will also be assessed for in order to examine changes in these domains in relation to mindfulness engagement. Furthermore, as a reduction in maternal psychological symptoms has been reported to have implications for mother-infant bond, the mother's interpersonal functioning, and maternal quality of life, the investigators will also assess to see if there are corresponding changes in these domains related to mindfulness engagement.

    1 locations

    Canada (1)
    • Lakehead University
      Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, P7B 5E1
    31 October, 2016
    17 January, 2017
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