Early childhood development is highly dependent on the sensitive care provided by caregivers, and interventions focused on supporting parents to improve their sensitivity have shown to be effective. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, with pregnant women and mothers of infants being an especially vulnerable group and maternal sensitivity particularly affected. However, access to face-to-face interventions is restricted; thus, it is important to have remote interventions to support this group of mothers.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of C@nnected, a group videoconferencing intervention to improve maternal sensitivity aimed at mother-infant dyads attending primary health care centers in vulnerable areas of Santiago, Chile.
This is a randomized feasibility single-masked (outcome assessor) study with a qualitative component. It will involve a block randomization procedure to generate a 3:2 allocation ratio (with more people allocated to the intervention arm). The intervention consists of 4 group videoconferencing sessions adapted from a face-to-face intervention with proven effectiveness. The control group will receive treatment as usual, along with educational brochures. The feasibility and acceptability of this study will be quantitatively and qualitatively assessed. Changes in clinical outcomes relating to maternal sensitivity, depressive symptoms, postpartum maternal attachment, and infant socioemotional development will also be evaluated.
We finished adapting the face-to-face intervention to the videoconferencing format in July 2021. The study began recruitment in August 2021, and enrollment is expected to end in August 2022, with final study results expected in December 2022.
This study will contribute evidence for the use of eHealth interventions to promote maternal sensitivity. It will also inform the design and implementation of a future randomized clinical trial.