Online mindfulness-based intervention for women with pregnancy distress: A randomized controlled trial

L.P. Hulsbosch*, E.S. Potharst, I. Schwabe, M.G.B.M. Boekhorst, V.J.M. Pop, I. Nyklicek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Pregnancy distress among childbearing women is common and can negatively affect both mother and infant. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) may have a positive effect on pregnancy distress but randomized controlled trials with sufficient power are lacking. The current study examined the effectiveness of an online self-guided MBI in pregnant women with pregnancy distress.

Methods
Pregnant women with elevated pregnancy distress levels at 12 weeks of pregnancy, measured with the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) and Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale negative affect (TPDS-NA), were randomized into an intervention group (online MBI, N = 109) or control group (care as usual, N = 110). The primary outcome was the change in pregnancy distress post-intervention and at eight-weeks-follow-up. Secondary outcomes were mindfulness skills (Three Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire-Short Form), rumination (Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire), and self-compassion (Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form) at post-intervention and follow-up in the intervention group.

Results
Significant improvements were found in pregnancy distress scores, but no significant differences between intervention and control group appeared. The MBI group showed improvements in mindfulness skills, rumination, and self-compassion.

Limitations
Low adherence to the intervention and assessment of secondary outcome measures in the intervention group only.

Conclusions
An intervention trial with one of the largest samples (N = 219) provided no evidence of a significant effect of an online self-guided MBI in distressed pregnant women. An online MBI may be associated with an improvement in mindfulness skills, rumination, and self-compassion. Future research should address the effectiveness of MBI's with different formats (online and group-based combined) and examine a possible delayed effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-272
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume332
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Online intervention
  • Pregnancy distress

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