The effect of brief alcohol intervention on postpartum depression

Georgiana Wilton*, Paul Moberg, Michael F. Fleming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report on secondary results from the Healthy Moms Study, a clinical trial to test the efficacy of brief intervention on reducing alcohol use and alcohol-related harms in postpartum women. Study Design and Methods: Data from a randomized clinical trial conducted between 2002 and 2005 with a sample of Wisconsin women was analyzed. This report presents comparison data on depressive symptomatology between postpartum women drinking above recommended levels who received a brief alcohol intervention and those who received no intervention. Results: At 6-month follow-up, there was a significant reduction in mean depression scores compared to baseline in the women who received the alcohol intervention (p < .001). There was no significant reduction in depressive symptomatology in the control group. Mean level of depression at 6 months was significantly predicted by baseline depression and the alcohol intervention (p = .018). Alcohol use at either baseline or follow-up was not a predictive factor in determining mean depressive symptomatology. Clinical Implications: The results of the Healthy Moms Study support the importance of both alcohol and depression screening during the postpartum period. Brief alcohol intervention during this time may also positively affect depressive symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalMCN The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Brief intervention
  • Comorbidity
  • Health screening
  • Postpartum depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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