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Impact of a mother–infant intervention in an indigent peri-urban South African context: Pilot study

  • Peter J. Cooper (a1), Mireille Landman (a2), Mark Tomlinson (a3), Christopher Molteno (a4), Leslie Swartz (a5) and Lynne Murray (a6)...
Abstract
Background

A high rate of maternal depression and associated disturbance in the mother–infant relationship has been found in an indigent peri-urban South African community Khayelitsha. The question arises whether a community-based intervention could be beneficial.

Aims

To train community workers to deliver an intervention to mothers and infants in Khayelitsha, and to compare mothers and infants receiving this intervention with a sample receiving no such intervention.

Method

Four Khayelitsha women were trained in a mother-infant intervention, which they delivered to 32 women recruited in late pregnancy. At 6 months post-partum, maternal mood, the mother–infant relationship and infant growth were assessed. The findings were compared with a matched group of 32 mothers and infants.

Results

There was no reliable impact of the intervention on maternal mood. However, compared with the comparison sample, the quality of mother – infant engagement was significantly more positive for those who had received the intervention.

Conclusions

The pilot study produced preliminary evidence of a benefit of a community-based mother – infant intervention delivered by trained, but otherwise unqualified, community workers, sufficient to warrant a formal controlled evaluation of this treatment.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Peter Cooper, Winnicott Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, UK. E-mail: p.j.cooper@reading.ac.uk
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Impact of a mother–infant intervention in an indigent peri-urban South African context: Pilot study

  • Peter J. Cooper (a1), Mireille Landman (a2), Mark Tomlinson (a3), Christopher Molteno (a4), Leslie Swartz (a5) and Lynne Murray (a6)...
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