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Development and evaluation of a mother-centered toolkit for postpartum behavioral and psychosocial health

Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Lorraine O. Walker, Bobbie S. Sterling, Heather Becker, Sherry Hendrickson, Bo Xie


The well-being of mothers and infants is influenced by mothers’ behavioral and psychosocial health (B&PH), yet it is often neglected during healthcare visits. To address this gap, this study aimed to develop and evaluate acceptability of a postpartum toolkit (screening questionnaire, feedback template, and decision aid) to promote B&PH. Using a decision-making model and participatory design (N = 24), a B&PH screening questionnaire was refined, and prototypes of feedback templates and decision aids for selecting health goals were developed. Most mothers in this multi-ethnic sample rated the resulting toolkit as easy to understand/use and useful, and reported they were likely to act on their health goals. Toolkit ease of use and usefulness ratings were largely unrelated to education, ethnicity, and acculturation. In conclusion, findings support the toolkit’s acceptability and applicability to women of diverse backgrounds. The toolkit is a promising strategy to engage mothers in setting goals to promote B&PH.

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