Using Paraprofessional Home Visitors to Prevent Postpartum Depression

Project: Research project

Project Details


Postpartum depression is a significant health concern affecting low-income women more often than women who are financially secure. Home visiting (HV) programs serve over 500,000 pregnant women and new mothers across the United States, with 9 HV programs existing in Chicago. Because so many pregnant women are seen by HV programs, there is a great opportunity to address depression by working with them. This project is a partnership between researchers at Northwestern University and the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development to examine the effectiveness of an intervention—The Mothers and Babies (MB) Course—on improving mental health and quality of life outcomes for women enrolled in Chicago HV programs. The MB Course will be delivered by paraprofessional home visitors from 9 Chicago home visiting (HV) programs trained to deliver the curriculum during their regularly scheduled 1-on-1 home visits. We will collect information that tells us how well home visitors lead MB sessions and whether clients enjoy the MB Course and find the material useful. We will also administer three surveys—one during pregnancy and two after delivery— to 100 HV clients. We expect that the MB Course will reduce depressive symptoms, and improve other mental health and quality of life outcomes such as positive parenting and relationship with one’s partner.
Effective start/end date9/1/141/31/16


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Award Letter 4/25/2014)


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