Perinatal depression prevention through home visitation: a cluster randomized trial of mothers and babies 1-on-1

J Behav Med. 2018 Oct;41(5):641-652. doi: 10.1007/s10865-018-9934-7. Epub 2018 May 15.


Postpartum depression is highly prevalent in low-income women and has significant health effects on mother and child. This pilot study tested the effectiveness of the newly adapted Mothers and Babies (MB) 1-on-1 intervention. A cluster randomized trial was conducted with 8 programs using trained home visitors to deliver MB 1-on-1 and 6 delivering usual home visiting. One hundred twenty pregnant women not experiencing major depression were enrolled. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 3- and 6-months postpartum. The rate of change in depressive and anxiety symptoms between groups was significant at 6 months, but not 3 months. No statistically significant differences between groups were found on secondary outcomes except perceptions of social support at 6 months. There was variability in use of MB skills, with fewer women using cognitive restructuring techniques. Although larger studies should be conducted, MB 1-on-1 appears promising in using home visitors to deliver a cognitive behavioral intervention to women at risk for postpartum depression.

Keywords: Home visiting; Intervention; Perinatal depression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Female
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Perinatal Care / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postnatal Care / methods
  • Postpartum Period / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Support