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A randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of a postnatal psychoeducation programme on outcomes of primiparas: study protocol


  • Shefaly Shorey MSc PhD RN RM,

    1. School of Health Sciences, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore
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  • Wai-Chi Sally Chan PhD RN,

    Professor and Head
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Yap Seng Chong MD,

    Senior Consultant, Associate Professor
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National University Hospital, Singapore
    2. Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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  • Hong-Gu He MD PhD RN

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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To report a trial protocol that evaluates the effectiveness of postnatal psychoeducation programme in improving maternal parental self-efficacy and social support and in reducing postnatal depression among primiparas.


Primiparas encounter physical, psychosocial and newborn care challenges in the early postnatal period. However, primiparas do not receive adequate professional support after early discharge from hospitals, thus hindering their adaptation to new role as mothers and smooth transition to motherhood. Postnatal psychoeducation programmes have been shown to be effective in improving pregnant women's health. However, there is a lack of theory-based, postnatal psychoeducation interventions for primiparas.


A randomized controlled trial of two-group pretest and repeated posttests is proposed.


The study will recruit a minimum of 114 primiparas on the day of discharge from a Singaporean public hospital (protocol approved in May 2012). Eligible participants will be randomly allocated to either a control group (receiving routine care) or an experimental group (receiving a postnatal psychoeducation programme besides routine care). Outcome measures include maternal parental self-efficacy, social support and postnatal depression. Data will be collected at baseline (on the day of discharge), 6 and 12 weeks postpartum.


This will be the first study of its kind that will use rigorous study design to evaluate a theory-based innovative postnatal psychoeducation programme on maternal outcomes. The study may identify a potentially effective way of enhancing primiparas' self-efficacy and social support, which may in turn reduce their risk of postnatal depression. The Sigma Theta Tau International Upsilon Eta Chapter funded this study.

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