Effectiveness of a Counseling Intervention Following a Traumatic Childbirth: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Gamble, J., Creedy, D., Moyle, W., Webster, J., McAllister, M. and Dickson, P. (2005) Effectiveness of a Counseling Intervention Following a Traumatic Childbirth: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Birth, 32 1: 11-19. doi:10.1111/j.0730-7659.2005.00340.x

Author Gamble, J.
Creedy, D.
Moyle, W.
Webster, J.
McAllister, M.
Dickson, P.
Title Effectiveness of a Counseling Intervention Following a Traumatic Childbirth: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Journal name Birth   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0730-7659
Publication date 2005-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.0730-7659.2005.00340.x
Volume 32
Issue 1
Start page 11
End page 19
Total pages 9
Editor Diony Young
Place of publication Malden
Publisher Blackwell Science
Language eng
Subject 1110 Nursing
Abstract Adverse childbirth experiences can evoke fear and overwhelming anxiety for some women and precipitate posttraumatic stress disorder. The objective of this study was to assess a midwife-led brief counseling intervention for postpartum women at risk of developing psychological trauma symptoms. Method: Of 348 women screened for trauma symptoms, 103met inclusion criteria and were randomized into an intervention (n=50) or a control (n=53) group. The intervention group received face-to-face counseling within 72 hours of birth and again via telephone at 4 to 6 weeks postpartum. Main outcome measures were posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, self-blame, and confidence about a future pregnancy. Results: At 3-month follow-up, intervention group women reported decreased trauma symptoms, low relative risk of depression, low relative risk of stress, and low feelings of self-blame. Confidence about a future pregnancy was higher for these women than for control group women. Three intervention group women compared with 9 control group women met the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder at 3 months postpartum, but this result was not statistically significant. Discussion: A high prevalence of postpartum depression and trauma symptoms occurred after childbirth. Although most women improved over time, the intervention markedly affected participants’ trajectory toward recovery compared with women who did not receive counseling. Conclusions: A brief, midwife-led counseling intervention for women who report a distressing birth experience was effective in reducing symptoms of trauma, depression, stress, and feelings of self-blame. The intervention is within the scope of midwifery practice, caused no harm to participants, was perceived as helpful, and enhanced women’s confidence about a future pregnancy.
Keyword counseling
Traumatic Childbirth
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 71 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 81 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 19 Jan 2009, 16:10:21 EST by Gina Velli on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences