The NSPCC UK Minding the Baby® (MTB) home-visiting programme, supporting young mothers (aged 14-25) in the first 2 years of their baby's life : study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Fearon, Richard M Pasco
BACKGROUND: Young mothers living in low-income urban settings often are exposed to significant and chronic environmental difficulties including poverty, social isolation and poor education and typically also have to cope with personal histories of abuse and depression. Minding the Baby® (MTB) is an interdisciplinary home-visiting programme developed to support first-time young mothers, which integrates primary care and mental health approaches into a single intensive intervention from the last trimester of pregnancy until the child's second birthday. The primary aim of the intervention is to promote caregiver sensitivity, and, secondarily, to promote both child and maternal socioemotional outcomes. METHODS/DESIGN: This is a multisite randomised controlled trial (RCT) with a target recruitment of 200 first-time adolescent mothers (under 26 years of age). One hundred participants will be randomised to the MTB group and they will receive the MTB programme in addition to the usual services available in their areas. Those participants not allocated to MTB will receive Treatment as Usual (TAU) only. Researchers will carry out blind assessments at baseline (before the birth of the baby), and outcome assessments around the child's first and second birthdays. The primary outcome will be the quality of maternal sensitivity and the secondary outcomes will focus on attachment security, child cognitive/language development, behavioural problems, postponed childbearing, maternal mental health and incidents of child protection interventions. DISCUSSION: This study evaluates the Minding the Baby® programme in the UK. In particular, this RCT explores the effectiveness of this integrative approach, which focusses on maternal mental issues as well as parent-infant interaction, parental concerns and developmental outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN08678682 (date of registration 3 April 2014).