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Pediatric-Based Intervention to Motivate Mothers to Seek Follow-up for Depression Screens: The Motivating Our Mothers (MOM) Trial

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To determine the initial effectiveness of a novel, pediatric office-based intervention in motivating mothers to seek further assessment of positive depression screens.


In this pilot randomized controlled trial, English-speaking mothers (n = 104) with positive 2-question depression screens and presenting with children 0 to 12 years old for well-child care to a general pediatric training clinic received interventions from a trained research assistant. The Motivating Our Mothers (MOM) intervention included office-based written and verbal targeted depression education and motivational messages encouraging further depression assessment and a semistructured telephone booster delivered 2 days later. The control intervention included nontargeted written and verbal messages and 2 days later, an attention control telephone survey. Both groups received a list of depression care resources. The primary outcome was the proportion of mothers in each group who reported trying to contact any of 6 types of resources to discuss the positive screen at 2 weeks after intervention ( NCT01453790).


Despite 6 contact attempts, 10 MOM and 9 control mothers were lost to follow-up. More mothers in the MOM intervention tried to contact a resource compared to control (73.8% vs 53.5%, difference 20.3%, 95% confidence interval for difference -0.1 to 38.5, P = .052).


Mothers receiving the MOM intervention made more attempts to contact a resource for follow-up of positive depression screens. If found effective in larger studies, MOM may prove a promising approach for motivating depression screen-positive mothers identified in general pediatric settings within and beyond the postpartum period to seek further depression assessment and support.

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