An Implementation-Effectiveness Hybrid Trial of Video-Based Family Therapy for Peripartum Depression in Home Visited Mothers: A Protocol for a Pilot Trial




Fallon Cluxton-Keller, Craig L. Donnelly, Melony Williams, Jennifer Buteau, Patricia Stolte, Maggie Monroe-Cassel, and Martha L. Bruce

Brief Type

Journal publication


  • Other Models


Background: The Federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (HV) Program serves over 100,000 vulnerable families at risk for child abuse in the USA and aims to improve many outcomes, including maternal mental health (HRSA’s Federal Home Visiting Program: partnering with parents to help children succeed, 2017). Most clients are insured by Medicaid, and about 40% are adolescent mothers (pregnant and post-delivery) (The mother and infant home visiting program evaluation: early findings on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, 2015). Over a third of home-visited clients report peripartum depressive symptoms (The mother and infant home visiting program evaluation: early findings on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, 2015). Family conflict increases rates of peripartum depression in adolescent mothers (J Ped Health Care 21:289–98, 2007; J Emot Behav Disord 5:173–83, 1997; Fam Relat 47:395–402, 1998; Arch Ped Adolesc Med 150:64–9, 1996; Obstet Gynecol 110:134–40, 2007; Am Fam Physician 93:852–58, 2016). Although home visitors screen for depression and refer those with positive screens for treatment (The mother and infant home visiting program evaluation: early findings on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, 2015), home-visited mothers infrequently obtain treatment or do not complete it if they do obtain it (Curr Probl Ped Adolesc Health Care 46:124–9, 2016; Making a difference in the lives of children and families: the impacts of Early Head Start Programs on infants and toddlers and their families, 2002; Depression and low-income women: challenges for TANF and welfare-to-work policies and programs, 2001; Aggress Violent Behav 15:191–200, 2010) due to many barriers (e.g., lack of child care, lack of transportation, geographical distance) (Arch Gen Psychiatry 68:627–36, 2011). There is a need for a video-based, family-oriented treatment for peripartum depression that is integrated into home visiting and would bypass these barriers. This article outlines a protocol for a pilot study that will explore the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a family-based treatment, using HIPAA-compliant video-based communication technology, for adolescents with peripartum depressive symptoms within the context of home visiting. Methods: This study protocol includes a description of an implementation-effectiveness hybrid trial design that will include 12 depressed adolescent mothers and their family members and a historical comparison group of 12 previously enrolled adolescent mothers. Discussion: The study results will provide a clearer understanding of whether or not video-based, family-oriented treatment is feasible and acceptable to implement within the context of home visiting and with home-visited adolescents with peripartum depressive symptoms. The findings from this pilot study could serve as a catalyst for future research that influences mental health practices and policies. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Participant observations
  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Cluxton-Keller, F., Donnelly, C. L., Williams, M., Buteau, J., Stolte, P., Monroe-Cassel, M., & Bruce, M. L. (2017). An implementation-effectiveness hybrid trial of video-based family therapy for peripartum depression in home visited mothers: A protocol for a pilot trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 3(1). http://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-017-0203-2
Author Contact Information:
Fallon Cluxton-Keller


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches
  • Program Quality, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Fidelity
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage