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Effectiveness of a Web-based Prevention Program for Postpartum Depression

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Alinne Barrera, University of California, San Francisco Identifier:
First received: January 2, 2009
Last updated: April 10, 2014
Last verified: April 2014
The original trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a Web-based program in preventing postpartum depression. The site has been modified to provide materials from both conditions.

Condition Intervention
Postpartum Depression
Behavioral: Mothers and babies Internet course and PPD informational brochure

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Using the Internet for English/Spanish Randomized Trials for Postpartum Depression

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Alinne Barrera, University of California, San Francisco:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) [ Time Frame: Measured monthly for 6 months postpartum ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) Scale [ Time Frame: Measured monthly for 6 months postpartum ]

Estimated Enrollment: 1000
Study Start Date: January 2009
Study Completion Date: June 2013
Primary Completion Date: June 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Self-help course and information Behavioral: Mothers and babies Internet course and PPD informational brochure
An eight-lesson, self-help, Web-based program for the prevention of postpartum depression based on cognitive behavioral therapy, social-learning, and attachment theory. The PPD informational brochure is a four-page pamphlet that contains information about postpartum depression.

Detailed Description:

Depression is a mental health condition in which symptoms such as sadness, inability to feel pleasure, and loss of energy interfere with a person's normal life. Postpartum depression is a type of depression experienced by women after giving birth to a child. In this study an intervention for preventing postpartum depression that has been adapted for use over the Internet will be tested. Administering a depression-prevention program over the Internet has several advantages: after the initial investment is made to develop the program, costs are lower for treating each patient; online treatment is more accessible to a greater number of people than any given clinic; and participants who may be worried about a stigma associated with mental health problems often feel more comfortable seeking information through the Internet. Previous research has shown that symptoms of depression can be reduced through Internet-based interventions, but no research has examined such interventions specifically for postpartum depression. The program tested in this study is not aimed at replacing in-person mental health care—in fact, people who have signs of serious depression will be directed to in-person mental health care. Instead, the program is aimed at providing an additional mental health service among the range of available options.

The original trial was a two-arm pilot prevention of postpartum depression trial comparing the Internet-based course called "Mothers and Babies/Mamás y Bebés" (M&B) to informational materials on postpartum depression. In the original trial, 1088 pregnant women were recruited and randomized (as anticipated) to either condition. The study Website has therefore been modified such that all participants who consent to participate will now receive materials from both conditions. We have eliminated the randomization procedure.

As in the original study, participants be allowed to enroll at any time during their pregnancies and will be followed for 6 months after the birth of their children, so the length of participation will vary between 6 and 15 months. After undergoing a screening process, participants will now have access to both the Internet-based course called "Mothers and Babies/Mamás y Bebés" (M&B) and the informational materials. The informational materials will include information about postpartum depression and depression that may occur before childbirth. All participants will be invited via email to complete monthly assessments for the duration of the study. These assessments will measure mood, depression, and satisfaction with the assigned intervention.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant
  • Fluent in English or Spanish
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00816725

United States, California
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California, United States, 94110
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Francisco
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Alinne Z. Barrera, PhD University of California, San Francisco
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Alinne Barrera, Staff Psychologist, University of California, San Francisco Identifier: NCT00816725     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: F32MH077371 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
DATR AK-TAIF ( Other Grant/Funding Number: National Institute of Mental Health )
Study First Received: January 2, 2009
Last Updated: April 10, 2014

Keywords provided by Alinne Barrera, University of California, San Francisco:
Postnatal Depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mood Management

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Depression, Postpartum
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Puerperal Disorders
Pregnancy Complications processed this record on May 25, 2017