A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effectiveness of a Postnatal Psychoeducation Programme on Self-Efficacy, Social Support and Postnatal Depression Among Primiparas

J Adv Nurs. 2015 Jun;71(6):1260-73. doi: 10.1111/jan.12590. Epub 2014 Dec 15.


Aim: To examine the effectiveness of a postnatal psychoeducation programme in enhancing maternal self-efficacy and social support and reducing postnatal depression among primiparas.

Background: Primiparas experience various challenges during the early postnatal period with low self-efficacy, depression and lack of social support. Support in the form of postnatal educational programmes is needed to improve these outcomes of primiparas.

Design: A randomized controlled two-group pre-test-post-test design was adopted.

Methods: Data were collected from June-December 2012 in a public hospital in Singapore from 122 primiparas, who were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 61) or control group (n = 61). The intervention group received postnatal psychoeducation programme and routine care while the control group received routine care only. The Maternal Parental Self-Efficacy scale, Perinatal Infant Care Social Support scale and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were used to measure outcomes of maternal parental self-efficacy, social support and postnatal depression. The mean percentage changes of all three outcome variables from baseline to 6 and 12 weeks postpartum between groups were used when performing repeated measures multivariate analysis of covariance.

Results: The intervention group had significantly higher scores of maternal parental self-efficacy and social support and lower scores of postnatal depression at 6 and 12 weeks postpartum when compared with the control group.

Conclusion: The postnatal psychoeducation programme was effective in improving maternal outcomes and hence could be introduced as routine care with ongoing evaluation in the postnatal period. Future studies could focus on the effects of this programme on other populations.

Trial registration no: ISRCTN15886353.

Keywords: depression; midwifery; nurses; nursing; postnatal; primiperas; psychoeducatoin; self-efficacy; social support.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Support*

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN15886353