The PRogram In Support of Moms (PRISM): study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial of two active interventions addressing perinatal depression in obstetric settings

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019 Jul 22;19(1):256. doi: 10.1186/s12884-019-2387-3.


Background: Perinatal depression, the most common pregnancy complication, is associated with negative maternal-offspring outcomes. Despite existence of effective treatments, it is under-recognized and under-treated. Professional organizations recommend universal screening, yet multi-level barriers exist to ensuring effective diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. Integrating mental health and obstetric care holds significant promise for addressing perinatal depression. The overall study goal is to compare the effectiveness of two active interventions: (1) the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) for Moms, a state-wide, population-based program, and (2) the PRogram In Support of Moms (PRISM) which includes MCPAP for Moms plus a proactive, multifaceted, practice-level intervention with intensive implementation support.

Methods: This study is conducted in two phases: (1) a run-in phase which has been completed and involved practice and patient participant recruitment to demonstrate feasibility for the second phase, and (2) a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT), which is ongoing, and will compare two active interventions 1:1 with ten Ob/Gyn practices as the unit of randomization. In phase 1, rates of depressive symptoms and other demographic and clinical features among patients were examined to inform practice randomization. Patient participants to be recruited in phase 2 will be followed longitudinally until 13 months postpartum; they will have 3-5 total study visits depending on whether their initial recruitment and interview was at 4-24 or 32-40 weeks gestation, or 1-3 months postpartum. Sampling throughout pregnancy and postpartum will ensure participants with different depressive symptom onset times. Differences in depression symptomatology and treatment participation will be compared between patient participants by intervention arm.

Discussion: This manuscript describes the full two-phase study protocol. The study design is innovative because it combines effectiveness with implementation research designs and integrates critical components of participatory action research. Our approach assesses the feasibility, acceptance, efficacy, and sustainability of integrating a stepped-care approach to perinatal depression care into ambulatory obstetric settings; an approach that is flexible and can be tailored and adapted to fit unique workflows of real-world practices.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT02760004, registered prospectively on May 3, 2016.

Keywords: Depression; Implementation randomized controlled trial; Integrated care; Intervention; Methods; Perinatal; Postpartum; Pregnancy; Protocol.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Depression* / etiology
  • Depression* / therapy
  • Depression, Postpartum* / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Participation
  • Perinatal Care / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications* / psychology
  • Pregnancy Complications* / therapy
  • Psychological Techniques*
  • Psychosocial Support Systems*
  • Research Design

Associated data