eHealth Model of Care – PNDA

Name of project

Supporting Isolated Women in New South Wales via an eHealth CBT program.
An implementation research study for delivering an online treatment program for Postnatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA).

Lead Local Health District

Murrumbidgee.

Research Project

In Australia it is estimated that up to one in five women experience depression or anxiety in the first year after having a baby, yet less than half these women seek help or adequate treatment. In regional, rural and remote areas of New South Wales the options for treatment are more limited and accessibility more difficult. Therefore, offering an online e-Health intervention for these is one way to increase treatment options and improve access.

MumMoodBooster (MMB) is an online e-Health cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) program providing very similar treatment to traditional face-to-face psychology sessions. MMB was developed by the Parent-Infant Research Institute and has been show to be highly successful in trials throughout Australia[1]. 

We aim to explore key barriers and facilitators to accessing the online MMB for isolated and hard to reach women in areas of regional, rural and remote NSW. The use of e-Health interventions can be influenced by many factors including the simplicity of system use, good internet access, low cost, policy alignment and clinician & women’s acceptance towards the technology. This study will use an implementation framework involving clinicians at various rural and remote locations within the health districts who will be guided through using and supporting clients using MMB. Focus groups and interviews will help to answer questions about uptake and identify the facilitators and barriers to accessing and using the program. This information will then be analysed and outcomes written up identifying recommendations around offering the MMB as a standard referral pathway in health services for isolated women experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety.

This is a joint project between Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), Charles Sturt University (CSU) Wagga Wagga and the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) Victoria. As well as research outcomes, it will provide a model for future collaborations between health, the tertiary sector and industry.

Project Team

  • Ms Keryl de Haan, Clinical Leader Perinatal Infant Mental Health/SAFE START, Murrumbidgee Local Health District
  • Associate Professor Maree Bernoth, Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga
  • Joanna Carlisle, On-site Project officer, Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga
  • Ms Chris Hunt, District Clinical Coordinator Perinatal and Infant Mental Health/SAFE START, Western NSW Local Health District
  • Professor Jeannette Milgrom, Director, Parent-Infant Research Institute and University of Melbourne
  • Dr Alan Gemmill, Senior Research Fellow, Parent-Infant Research Institute
  • Alicia Carey, Academic, Charles Sturt University.

[1] Milgrom J, Danaher BG, Gemmill AW, Holt C, Holt CJ, Seeley JR, et al. Internet cognitive behavioural therapy for women with postnatal depression: A randomised controlled trial of MumMoodBooster. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2016; 18(3).