Research Alert

Background: The Mothers and Babies (MB) Course is recognized by the US Preventive Services Task Force as an evidence-based preventive intervention for postpartum depression (PPD) that should be recommended to pregnant women at risk for PPD.

Objective: This report examines the feasibility and acceptability of enhancing the MB 1-on-1 intervention by adding 36 SMS text messages that target 3 areas: reinforcement of skills, between-session homework reminders, and responding to self-monitoring texts (ie, MB Plus Text Messaging [MB-TXT]).

Methods: In partnership with 9 home visiting programs, 28 ethnically and racially diverse pregnant women (mean 25.6, SD 9.0 weeks) received MB-TXT. Feasibility was defined by home visitors’ adherence to logging into the HealthySMS platform to enter session data and trigger SMS text messages within 7 days of the in-person session. The acceptability of MB-TXT was measured by participants’ usefulness and understanding ratings of the SMS text messages and responses to the self-monitoring SMS text messages.

Results: On average, home visitors followed the study protocol and entered session-specific data between 5.50 and 61.17 days following the MB 1-on-1 sessions. A high proportion of participants responded to self-monitoring texts (25/28, 89%) and rated the text message content as very useful and understandable.

Conclusions: This report contributes to a growing body of research focusing on digital adaptations of the MB course. SMS is a low-cost, accessible digital tool that can be integrated into existing interventions. With appropriate resources to support staff, it can be implemented in community-based organizations and health care systems that serve women at risk for PPD.

Trial NCT03420755;

JMIR Form Res 2021;5(11):e30995



We recommend

  1. Video-Delivered Family Therapy for Home Visited Young Mothers With Perinatal Depressive Symptoms: Quasi-Experimental Implementation-Effectiveness Hybrid Trial

    Fallon Cluxton-Keller et al., JMIR Mental Health, 2018

  2. Feasibility and Perception of Using Text Messages as an Adjunct Therapy for Low-Income, Minority Mothers With Postpartum Depression

    Matthew A Broom et al., JMIR Mental Health, 2015

  3. Comparing the Effectiveness of Clinicians and Paraprofessionals to Reduce Disparities in Perinatal Depression via the Mothers and Babies Course: Protocol for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    Jessica K Jensen et al., JMIR Res Protoc, 2018

  4. MomMoodBooster Web-Based Intervention for Postpartum Depression: Feasibility Trial Results

    Brian G Danaher et al., J Med Internet Res, 2013

  5. Expanding Access to Depression Treatment in Kenya Through Automated Psychological Support: Protocol for a Single-Case Experimental Design Pilot Study

    Eric P Green et al., JMIR Res Protoc, 2019

  1. Intervention intended to improve public health professionals’ self-efficacy in their efforts to detect and manage perinatal depressive symptoms among Thai women: a mixed-methods study

    Nitikorn Phoosuwan et al., BMC Health Services Research, 2020

  2. Early identification of postpartum depression using demographic, clinical, and digital phenotyping

    Lisa Hahn et al., Transl Psychiatry, 2021

  3. Acceptability and appropriateness of a perinatal depression preventive group intervention: a qualitative analysis

    Alicia Diebold et al., BMC Health Services Research, 2020

  4. These Surgical Strategies Are Designed to Decrease Anti-VEGF Treatment Burden in nAMD & DME. Learn How.


  5. Effects of Telephone and Short Message Service Support on Infant Feeding Practices, “Tummy Time,” and Screen Time at 6 and 12 Months of Child Age: A 3-Group Randomized Clinical Trial

    Li Ming Wen et al., JAMA Pediatrics, 2020

Journal Link: JMIR Form Res 2021;5(11):e30995

Register for reporter access to contact details

JMIR Form Res 2021;5(11):e30995

Download PDF
163840093496808_Alinne Barrera.pdf