University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • Elena Longhi
  • Lynne Murray
  • Rachael Hunter
  • David Wellsted
  • Samantha Taylor-Colls
  • Kathryn MacKenzie
  • Gwynne Rayns
  • Richard Cotmore
  • Peter Fonagy
  • Richard M Pasco Fearon
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Journal publication date7 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2016


BACKGROUND: Young mothers living in low-income urban settings often are exposed to significant and chronic environmental difficulties including poverty, social isolation and poor education and typically also have to cope with personal histories of abuse and depression. Minding the Baby® (MTB) is an interdisciplinary home-visiting programme developed to support first-time young mothers, which integrates primary care and mental health approaches into a single intensive intervention from the last trimester of pregnancy until the child's second birthday. The primary aim of the intervention is to promote caregiver sensitivity, and, secondarily, to promote both child and maternal socioemotional outcomes.

METHODS/DESIGN: This is a multisite randomised controlled trial (RCT) with a target recruitment of 200 first-time adolescent mothers (under 26 years of age). One hundred participants will be randomised to the MTB group and they will receive the MTB programme in addition to the usual services available in their areas. Those participants not allocated to MTB will receive Treatment as Usual (TAU) only. Researchers will carry out blind assessments at baseline (before the birth of the baby), and outcome assessments around the child's first and second birthdays. The primary outcome will be the quality of maternal sensitivity and the secondary outcomes will focus on attachment security, child cognitive/language development, behavioural problems, postponed childbearing, maternal mental health and incidents of child protection interventions.

DISCUSSION: This study evaluates the Minding the Baby® programme in the UK. In particular, this RCT explores the effectiveness of this integrative approach, which focusses on maternal mental issues as well as parent-infant interaction, parental concerns and developmental outcomes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN08678682 (date of registration 3 April 2014).


© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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