A Pilot Trial of a Health Promotion and Illness Prevention Paradigm in the Perinatal Period.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVES: This is a pilot study of the Vermont Family Based Approach, an innovative health promotion program designed to address behavioral health prevention in primary care, adapted for perinatal women. We aimed to determine the acceptability of the intervention across socioeconomic strata, and to identify if participation improves perinatal mental health. METHODS: Recruitment occurred at a general obstetrics practice. Women 12-25 weeks gestation were paired with a wellness coach who administered a wellness assessment and used motivational interviewing to facilitate individualized plans based on evidence-based domains of health promotion. Participants were offered access to free, co-located wellness activities through the peripartum, and referred to behavioral health services if appropriate. RESULTS: 93 women consented; 16 Medicaid Insured women (MI) and 30 Privately Insured (PI) were randomized to the intervention. Of all activities, yoga and parenting activities were most appealing, with 58% of women attending. PI (M = 12.30, SD = 11.71) attended significantly more activities than MI (M = 3.81, SD = 12.30; p = .001). Trauma exposure was inversely associated with attendance (p = .004). Randomization to the intervention was not associated with improvements in internalizing symptoms or perceived stress at 12 months postpartum, however, attending three or more wellness activities was associated with a decrease in perceived stress between baseline and 12 months postpartum. CONCLUSION: This program appeared acceptable and engaging to women with private insurance, but less so with Medicaid. The trial failed to demonstrate improvement in internalizing scores, but of those randomized to the intervention, higher engagement was associated with decreased stress one year after giving birth.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Guth, S; McGinnis, E; Copeland, W; Hudziak, J

Published Date

  • June 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1203 - 1210

PubMed ID

  • 35064428

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9762324

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6628

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10995-021-03354-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States