Pregnancy in Mind (PiM) is a preventative programme for parents who are experiencing or at risk of mild to moderate anxiety and depression during the perinatal period (during pregnancy and the first year after birth). To comply with coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, an adapted version of the NSPCC’s face-to-face service was developed using virtual and digital methods.
This process evaluation looks at the case data of 186 parents who accessed the adapted service between March and September 2020. It considers:
Authors: Aisling McElearney, Georgia Hyde-Dryden, Hannah Walters, Lauren Palmer, Kurt Coulter and Gary Adamson
Parents experiencing higher levels of depression and anxiety showed the greatest improvement over six sessions of the virtual delivery of Pregnancy in Mind.
Practitioners identified several benefits to virtual delivery, including extending geographical reach, and developing relationships at a pace that suited anxious parents. There were also some difficulties raised by practitioners such as building peer-to-peer relationships between parents and how to engage with fathers.
Key enablers to successful delivery included teams having well-established local referral pathways and networks, as well as team stability and peer support. The flexibility of the programme provided opportunities for strengthening relationships with parents and providing tailored support, using methods such as one-to-one wellbeing checks.
The rapid change to using technology caused initial anxiety for some practitioners. There were also concerns that virtual delivery could present a barrier to engagement for some parents.
Please cite as: McElearney, A. et al (2021) Process evaluation of Virtual Pregnancy in Mind during the COVID-19 pandemic. London: NSPCC.
Advice on how the mental health of parents and carers can impact on a child’s wellbeing. Find out what works to support families where one or more parents or carers have a mental health problem.
We conducted an evaluation of our Pregnancy in Mind's face-to-face service which is a preventative mental health service for parents.