Recent Research Trials

Online Treatment for Antenatal Depression

The Mum2BMoodBooster internet-based program is an evidence-based treatment for antenatal depression and consists of six sequential interactive sessions, as well as additional information in the form of companion library articles. The program includes a partner support website and participants are phoned once per week by a psychologist phone coach. The current study is a feasibility trial in which all participants receive the active treatment (funded by Ian Potter Foundation).

For more information on this ongoing study or to participate, go to

Beating the Blues Before Birth – Pilot Trial

The Beating the Blues before Birth program is a specialised cognitive behavioural therapy for antenatal maternal depression and anxiety developed by PIRI. The efficacy of this treatment in reducing depression and anxiety has been proved in a feasibility study and a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) (Milgrom et al. 2015). Follow-up to 9 and 24 months has demonstrated promising benefits of the treatment on infant development (Milgrom et al. 2015 and Milgrom et al. 2018). To reliably detect clinically meaningful effects on infant outcomes, we are currently conducting a larger RCT with a 2 year follow-up. To read more about the current study click here.
Milgrom, J., Holt, C., Holt, C.J., Ross, J., Ericksen, J., & Gemmill, A. (2015). A Feasibility Study and Pilot Randomised Trial of an Antenatal Depression Treatment with Infant Follow-up. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 18(5):717-30. Milgrom, J., Holt, C.J., Bleker, L.S., Holt, C., Ross, J., Ericksen, J., Glover, V., O’Donnell, K.J., de Rooij, S. R., & Gemmill , A.W. (2018). Maternal antenatal mood and child development: an exploratory study of treatment effects on child outcomes up to 5 years. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.

PremieStart: Prematurity

Premature birth is often associated with multiple stressful experiences for the newborn at the very start of life. The PremieStart program was designed to protect and enhance infant neurodevelopment through early stress reduction. The study was a 6 year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial evaluating our eight-session sensitivity training program for parents of pre-term infants while babies are still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council – NHMRC).

Click here for more information

Motivational Interviewing

A cluster randomised controlled trial examining whether a brief motivational interviewing intervention delivered by MCH nurses in the context of a routine postnatal screen improves uptake to treatment when women experience PND.

(Funded by Australian Rotary Health)

For more information on this ongoing study click here.

Community HUGS

A community trial evaluating a ten session therapeutic playgroup for enhancing the mother-infant relationship following postnatal depression and providing fathers with support (funded by Department of Social Services).

For more information on this ongoing study click here.

HUGS: Supporting Mothers and Babies Following Postnatal Depression

HUGS is a group-based program that promotes the relationship between mother and baby following postnatal depression. This randomised trial compares HUGS against a traditional mother-infant playgroup for enhancing the relationship between mother and baby, following group-based treatment for postnatal depression (funded by beyondblue).

HUGS stands for Happiness, Understanding, Giving & Sharing

For more information on this ongoing study click here.