Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Thinking Healthy Program for Vietnam

Researchers at SPHPM have conducted a study in Vietnam which has found that group support for pregnant women can reduce later effects of depression and anxiety, which are common among women in low and lower-middle income countries.

Professor Jane Fisher, Mr Thach Tran and Ms Hau Nguyen co authored the study which adapted The Thinking Healthy Program (THP) for rural Vietnam. The THP comprises five modules: preparing for the baby, the baby’s arrival and early, mid and late infancy. Each module contains sessions on the mother’s health, her relationship with her baby, and the relationships with people around her. The sixteen-session program is targeted at women with depression and their families, beginning around 30 weeks gestation and continuing to ten months postpartum.

The study found that the Vietnamese adaptation of the Thinking Healthy Program (THP-V) was suggested by participants, to women who have recently given birth and are caring for young children in Vietnam. Participants and facilitators valued the small group format and the opportunities it provided for role play rehearsal and shared problem solving. This suggests that the social support available in delivering THP to small groups rather than to individuals might enhance self efficacy compared to delivery in an individualised approach. Local observers who represented the commune health station and the Women’s Union also found the content and approach highly relevant to local needs and endorsed the approach as a mental health promotion strategy with potential for integration into local maternal and child health services.

Click here to read the whole study.

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