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Oxford research into postnatal depression on the radio

Research led by Prof Alan Stein from the Department of Psychiatry featured on the BBC Radio Oxford, Phil Gayle Show on the 1st of August.  Postnatal depression is a debilitating condition which can affect up to 1 in 10 mothers.  In the radio broadcast, Prof Stein described the Wellcome Trust funded Oxford Postnatal Treatment study.  This is aimed at mothers who have a young baby of approximately 5-8 months old, and have been feeling depressed or low in themselves for a few months.

The trial involves providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that is specifically modified for the postnatal period and crucially provided in the mother’s home.  This is important as new mothers often find getting to a clinic difficult particularly if they are feeling low.  An interesting aspect of the study is the combination of CBT with two other novel therapies.  One is a form of relaxation training to help reduce stress called Progressive Muscle Relaxation; and the other is support for mothers in understanding their baby’s communication, called “Watch and Discover”.

If you are interested in learning more about the study please visit the OPT website