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Clinical Trial Summary

Anxiety Disorders or Depressive Disorders with anxiety, affect about 3/5 pregnancies. It is known that if left untreated, these disorders are associated with poor delivery outcomes, ongoing mental illness, and negative effects on the child. The COVID-19 pandemic has created heightened anxiety in many people especially the most vulnerable. As a result, the investigators have seen that pregnant women report even higher rates of anxiety than in the past. Talk therapy is recommended but is underused in part because it takes a long time to learn and use. The COVID crisis has added another layer of complexity in that in-person treatment is not routinely available. The investigator team has adapted a talk therapy treatment, "Mindful adaptive practice in pregnancy (MAPP)" where women are taught skills to reduce anxiety. This treatment is done virtually over the internet in a synchronous group format. The overall objective of this study is to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and adherence to the clinical trial protocol evaluating MAPP on anxiety symptoms among pregnant women. This synchronous virtual treatment is novel and has the potential to change clinical practice as it will effectively reduce anxiety, takes a short time to learn and women will have access to it regardless of living in rural or remote areas. The results of this study will guide the development of a larger multi-site randomized controlled trial (RCT).


Clinical Trial Description

Antenatal mental illness is common. About 3/5 of women have antenatal anxiety or depression with anxiety which are both linked to adverse delivery outcomes and negative effects on child development. Often these conditions remain undetected/untreated, perpetuating the cycle of mental illness. A Canadian survey of pregnant women (~2000, April 2020) found >50% endorsed anxiety and > 2/3 elevated anxiety specific to pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is on a background of elevated rates of antenatal mental illness. Psychotherapeutic interventions are preferred antenatally but barriers prevent their initiation and adherence (i.e., time duration). With the pandemic and the spike in anxiety, these vulnerable women are at risk to continue being ill and their child at risk for negative delivery/ longer-term outcomes. It is imperative these women receive rapid treatment to reduce acute anxiety to prevent mental health deterioration and the potential adverse effects. The pandemic has also forced clinicians to deliver healthcare in creative ways such as providing psychiatric care virtually despite their not knowing if the therapy can be effectively provided in this way and must be evaluated. Mindful Adaptive Practice in Pregnancy (MAPP) is a novel ultra-brief psychotherapy developed by the investigator team to reduce anxiety. Prior work (nonclinical samples) suggested high recruitment and retention, significant distress reduction, and enhancement of wellbeing at rates comparable to gold standard therapies of longer duration. The work with clinical samples has shown it to have a large effect size. The investigators have adapted the technique to pregnant women to address the urgent clinical need for a brief, effective targeted intervention. As the investigators were challenged to offer health care services creatively, they adapted MAPP for virtual delivery, in a group format using the Ontario Telemedicine Network for example. The overall objective of this study is to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and adherence to a clinical trial protocol evaluating the MAPP intervention on anxiety symptoms among pregnant women. The results of this pilot work will guide the development of a larger multi-site randomized controlled trial (RCT) to definitively evaluate the effectiveness of MAPP. As a secondary outcome, the investigators will assess the effect of MAPP in reducing anxious symptoms; this preliminary data on MAPP's effect will inform an effect size for the larger trial power analysis. Pregnant participants from obstetrics, family practice, midwifery, and reproductive psychiatry clinics, as well as self-referral from social media, will be recruited. Sixty women will be randomized to the control group (standard care) or the intervention group (standard care plus MAPP). Outcomes will be captured electronically at 6, 12, and 24 weeks post-randomization. Results of this work will be used for the larger trial which will have the potential to change clinical practice. Subsequent knowledge translation activities will foster knowledge uptake of the pilot results and once the final RCT is completed, the intervention will be widely disseminated. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05064254
Study type Interventional
Source Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Contact Sophie Grigoriadis, MD, PhD
Phone 416 480 5677
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date October 1, 2021
Completion date September 1, 2022

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