Program

Nov 06, 2012

OVERVIEW

In this study, mother-infant dyads were randomly assigned to receive either standard care (Child Health Center Care, CHCC), or  mother-infant psychoanalytic treatment plus standard care (MIP). At the 6-month follow-up there was a significant impact in maternal depression, the mother-infant relationship and maternal sensitivity in participants who received MIP. However there was no impact on other outcomes.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Swedish mothers with an infant 18 months old or younger, with significant concerns about her infant’s well being, their relationship, or herself as a mother.

MIP participants received 50-minute therapy sessions with a psychoanalyst two or three times a week for several months, in addition to their standard care. Treatment duration and frequency of sessions were left to the participant’s discretion. In the MIP technique, the psychoanalyst serves as someone capable of containing the infant’s emotional distress with the goal of improving the mother-infant relationship.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Salomonsson, B., & Sandell, R. (2011). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mother-infant Psychoanalytic Treatment: I. Outcomes on Self-report Questionnaires and External Ratings. Infant Mental Health Journal, 32(2), 207-231

Evaluated population: A total of 214 mothers with an infant 18 months old or younger were screened for eligibility. To be eligible, participants had to reside in Stockholm, speak Swedish, and have concerns regarding their infant’s well-being, their relationship, or themselves as a mother, for longer than two weeks. Only 80 mother-infant dyads were randomized. Data from 75 participants were analyzed, 38 in the MIP group and 37 in the standard care group (CHCC). The sample in the MIP group had a mean age of 34, and 81% had given birth to only one child. The sample in the CHCC group had a mean age of 32.3, and 78% had given birth to only one child.

Approach: Participants were screened in a 15-minute phone interview.  A total of 90 participants met the inclusion criteria and were interviewed in person. During this interview, the mother’s psychological state was assessed, as well as her contact with the baby. At the end of the interviews, 80 participants were randomized to the different groups. Once participants had been randomized, their infants underwent a pediatric check up, and then received either CHCC or MIP. Participants had a follow-up interview, and follow-up questionnaires were administered 6 months after randomization. The program’s primary outcomes included maternal postnatal depression, infant social and emotional functioning, and mother-baby relationship. Secondary outcomes included mother-reported stress and general psychic distress. These outcomes were measured using two self-report questionnaires the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional, and an observer-rated scale the Parent-Infant Relationship Global Assessment Scale.

Results: For participants in the MIP group a significant positive impact was found for maternal depression (Cohen’s d= 0.39), maternal sensitivity (Cohen’s d= 0.42) and for mother-infant relationship quality (Cohen’s d= 0.58), but no significant impact was found for mother-reported infant functioning (Cohen’s d= 0.2). Secondary outcomes were not significant for maternal stress, general psychological distress, and parent-infant interaction dimensions which include maternal non- intrusiveness, maternal structuring, infant responsiveness and infant involvement.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Salomonsson, B., & Sandell, R. (2011). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mother-infant Psychoanalytic Treatment: I. Outcomes on Self-report Questionnaires and External Ratings. Infant Mental Health Journal, 32(2), 207-231

KEYWORDS: Female Only; Early Childhood (0-18 months); Clinic/Provider-based; Parent or Family Component; Counseling/Therapy; Depression; Postnatal Depression; Mental Health

Program information last updated on 11/06/12. 

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