We sought evidence of effectiveness of lay support to improve maternal and child outcomes in disadvantaged families. Antenatal attendances were high in the standard care control and did not increase further with addition of the POW intervention (10.1 vs 10.1 (mean difference; MD) −0.00, 95% CI (95% CI −0.37 to 0.37)). In the powered subgroup of women with 2 or more social risk factors, mean EPDS (MD −0.79 (95% CI −1.56 to −0.02) was significantly better, although for all women recruited, no significant differences were seen (MD −0.59 (95% CI −1.24 to 0.06). Mother-to-infant bonding was significantly better in the intervention group for all women (MD −0.30 (95% CI −0.61 to −0.00) p=0.05), and there were no differences in other secondary outcomes. This trial demonstrates differences in depressive symptomatology with addition of the POW service in the powered subgroup of women with 2 or more social risk factors. Addition to existing evidence indicates benefit from lay interventions in preventing postnatal depression. This finding is important for women and their families given the known effect of maternal depression on longer term childhood outcomes.
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Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute of Health
Research, Birmingham and Black Country Collaboration for Leadership and
Applied Health Research and Care. The study was sponsored by the University