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Brief cognitive–behavioral intervention for maternal depression and trauma in the neonatal intensive care unit: A pilot study

Authors

  • Rebecca S. Bernard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
    • San Diego Center for Children, 3002 Armstrong St., San Diego, CA 92111
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    • Rebecca S. Bernard is now at the San Diego Center for Children, San Diego, CA.

  • Sharon E. Williams,

    1. Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
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  • Amy Storfer-Isser,

    1. Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
    Current affiliation:
    1. Center for Clinical Investigation, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
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  • William Rhine,

    1. Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
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  • Sarah McCue Horwitz,

    1. Stanford University School of Medicine
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Pediatrics and Stanford Health Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine
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  • Cheryl Koopman,

    1. Stanford University School of Medicine
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine
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  • Richard J. Shaw

    1. Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
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  • This project was supported by funding from NIH M01 RR00070 for the General Clinical Research Center Program, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Abstract

Parents of hospitalized premature infants are at risk for developing psychological symptoms. This randomized controlled pilot study examined the effectiveness of a brief cognitive–behavioral intervention in reducing traumatic and depressive symptoms in mothers 1 month after their infant's discharge from the hospital. Fifty-six mothers were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Results showed that mothers experienced high levels of symptoms initially and at follow-up. At follow-up, there was a trend for mothers in the intervention group to report lower levels of depression (p = .06; Cohen's f = .318), but levels of traumatic symptoms were similar for both groups. Brief psychological interventions may reduce depressive symptoms in this population. Estimates of the effect sizes can be used to inform future intervention studies.

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