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Online Training For Addressing Perinatal Depression

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42MH113381-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42MH113381
Amount: $1,792,058.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 104
Solicitation Number: PA18-576
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-05-31
Small Business Information
Belmont, MA 02478-2965
United States
DUNS: 137091000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (508) 334-7839
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 484-6802
Research Institution
WORCESTER, MA 01655-0002
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Project Summary
The primary goal of this proposal is to develop, implement, and evaluate an online module to improve obstetric
providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Upwards of 1 in
5 women suffer from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Left untreated, they have deleterious effects on
maternal and birth outcomes, infant attachment, and children’s behavior/development. While most obstetric
providers report wanting to address perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, fear of liability, discomfort, and lack
of knowledge and resources present barriers. To address this, our team developed the Massachusetts Child
Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) for Moms. MCPAP for Moms provides training for obstetric providers on
how to detect, assess, and treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. While our training has been identified
as a model for other states, it was developed specific to the Massachusetts environment and available mental
health resources and is currently delivered in person. To begin to address this, in our Phase I project, we
developed a prototype online training product, consisting of one module, entitled Basics of Addressing
Perinatal Depression. Phase I participants’ pre/post-test knowledge scores, applied knowledge change scores,
and positive attitudes regarding depression and depression care increased significantly. Satisfaction with the
course content, manner, and form of online presentation was also high. However, as Phase I was a prototype
focused only on depression, learners asked for more content on differential diagnosis, patient engagement,
treatment follow-up, and monitoring. Thus, we propose to build on Phase I with a Phase II project to develop a
more comprehensive training entitled, Addressing Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. While Phase I was
purposefully narrow and covered only depression and how to screen for it and start treatment, Phase II will
focus more broadly on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and cover how to differentiate depression from
other psychiatric illnesses, follow-up after treatment initiation, and monitor patients’ symptoms and adjust
treatment as needed to achieve illness remission. We will conduct a formative evaluation of the 4-module
training course via testing with 10 obstetric providers and obtain feedback from 5 women with lived experience
of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and revise/refine based on these. We will test the effectiveness of all
4 modules by conducting a randomized controlled trial with 60 obstetric providers randomly assigned to the
training (coursework group) (N=30) or an attention / wait-list control group (N=30). We will evaluate providers’:
(1) knowledge acquisition (pre/post-test comparison); (2) change in provider attitudes (beliefs, self-efficacy,
and confidence) toward perinatal depression and anxiety care (pre/post comparison), and (3) satisfaction with
course content and usability (post). We will then revise the modules, producing a final product for Phase III
commercialization. If effective, our training will help obstetric providers implement screening for perinatal mood
and anxiety disorders and respond appropriately, thus getting women needed care.Project Narrative
We will leverage existing roles and resources in Ob/Gyn settings to provide a solution to a critical public health
issue – perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Our proposed training, Addressing Perinatal Mood and Anxiety
Disorders, has the potential to address a training gap and increase obstetric provider capacity to detect, assess,
and treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, which is an essential part of the system change needed to
positively impact the health and wellness of many mothers, families, and babies.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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