Adapting and testing a brief intervention to reduce maternal anxiety during pregnancy (ACORN): report of a feasibility randomized controlled trial.
O'Mahen, Heather A
King, Dorothy X
Wilkinson, Esther L
Halligan, Sarah L
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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O'Mahen, H. A., Ramchandani, P., King, D. X., Lee-Carbon, L., Wilkinson, E. L., Thompson-Booth, C., Ericksen, J., et al. (2022). Adapting and testing a brief intervention to reduce maternal anxiety during pregnancy (ACORN): report of a feasibility randomized controlled trial.. BMC Psychiatry, 22 (1) https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-03737-1
BACKGROUND: We investigated the acceptability and feasibility of a new brief intervention for maternal prenatal anxiety within maternity services in London and Exeter, UK. METHODS: One hundred fourteen pregnant individuals attending their 12-week scan at a prenatal clinic with elevated symptoms of anxiety (GAD-7 score of ≥7) were randomly assigned to either the ACORN intervention + Treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 57) or to usual care only (n = 57). The ACORN intervention consisted of 3 2-h group sessions, led by a midwife and psychological therapist, for pregnant individuals and their partners. The intervention included psychoeducation about anxiety, strategies for problem-sovling and tolerating uncertainty during pregnancy, including communicating about these with others, and mindfulness exercises. RESULTS: Engagement rates with ACORN met or exceeded those in primary care services in England. In the intervention arm, 77% (n = 44) of participants attended at least one session, 51% (n = 29) were adherent, defined as attending two or more sessions. Feedback was positive, and participants in the ACORN treatment group demonstrated evidence of a larger drop in their levels of anxiety than the participants in the TAU-only group (Cohen's d = 0.42). CONCLUSION: The ACORN intervention was acceptable to pregnant individuals and their partners and resulted in reductions in anxiety. With further evaluation in a larger-scale trial with child outcomes, there is significant potential for large scale public health benefit.
Research, Pregnancy, Anxiety, Antenatal, Therapy, Randomised controlled trial
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-03737-1
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/334160