To evaluate the effects of internet‐based support program for primiparous women in terms of improving the levels of maternal self‐efficacy, social support, and satisfaction; and reducing their postpartum depression symptoms.
A single‐blinded, multicentre, randomized, controlled, parallel‐group pre‐test and repeated post‐test design.
Based on the self‐efficacy theory and the social exchange theory, the internet‐based support program has five modules: (a) learning forum of parenting knowledge and skills; (b) communication forum; (c) ask‐the‐expert forum; (d) baby home forum; and (e) reminder forum. Primiparous women will be recruited in the obstetric wards of two university‐affiliated hospitals in China. The participants (N = 258) will be randomly allocated to the intervention group that receive routine care and access to the internet‐based support program and the control group that receive routine care during the 3 months postpartum. Maternal self‐efficacy, social support, and postpartum depression symptoms will be measured at baseline, immediately after the intervention (post‐test 1) and 3 months after the intervention (post‐test 2). The study was funded in January 2018 and was ethically approved in May 2020.
If the internet‐based support program has positive outcomes, it will contribute to the scientific and practical knowledge of nursing interventions to support primiparous women on parenting; and could become the routine health care for health professionals to enhance parenting ability and mental well‐being of new mothers.
As the first RCT study on parenting outcomes using a rigorous research design and a theoretical framework in China, this research will contribute to evidence on the effectiveness of using internet platform to support women after childbirth. The results could help to advance research about the use of internet‐based intervention methods to improve women's maternal self‐efficacy, social support, satisfaction, and to alleviate depression symptoms.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.