Costs and benefits of community postnatal support workers: a randomised controlled trial

Morrell C J, Spiby H, Stewart P, Walters S, Morgan A
Record ID 32000008232
Authors' objectives:

This study aimed to measure the effect and the total cost per woman of providing postnatal support at home, based on a Dutch model. The research hypothesis was furnished by some existing evidence that postnatal support could reduce the risk of postnatal depression and encourage breastfeeding.

Authors' results and conclusions: The 623 randomised women were well-matched by group with a good response to follow-up. At 6 weeks there was no evidence of a significant difference between the two groups for the primary outcome. There was a non-significant trend for the control group to have better mean DUFSS and EPDS scores at 6 weeks. Breastfeeding rates were not significantly different at follow-up. At 6 months, both groups had similar health status. Satisfaction with the service was higher than for all other services received.
Authors' recomendations: Although women valued the service, there was no evidence of any health benefit at the 6-week or 6-month follow-up, no difference in use of NHS services, and the additional cost of the service provision would be around 180 GBP per woman. Additional studies are required to identify the support-related outcomes of importance to postnatal women, and to compare the effectiveness of different models of antenatal and postnatal support.
Authors' methods: Randomised controlled trial
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2000
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Postnatal Care
  • Social Support
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: 2009 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
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