Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1333–1341 | Cite as

An Open Trial of In-Home CBT for Depressed Mothers in Home Visitation

  • Robert T. Ammerman
  • Frank W. Putnam
  • Jack Stevens
  • Nicole R. Bosse
  • Jodie A. Short
  • Amy L. Bodley
  • Judith B. Van Ginkel


Research has demonstrated that low income mothers participating in home visitation programs have high rates of depression. This study used an open trial design to evaluate In-Home Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (IH-CBT), an evidence-based treatment for depression that is delivered in the home setting and has been adapted to address the needs of low income mothers participating in home visitation. 64 depressed mothers recruited from a home visitation program and who had completed IH-CBT were compared to 241 mothers from the same setting who met identical screening criteria at enrollment but did not receive the treatment. In addition, pre- and post-treatment measures of depression and related clinical features were contrasted in the 64 mothers receiving IH-CBT. There was a significantly greater reduction in depressive symptoms in the IH-CBT group relative to their counterparts who did not receive the treatment. Results from pre-post comparisons showed that treated mothers had decreased diagnosis of major depression, lower reported stress, increased coping and social support, and increased positive views of motherhood at post-treatment. Findings suggest that IH-CBT is a promising approach to addressing maternal depression in the context of home visitation and warrants further study. Public health implications for home visiting programs are discussed.


Home visitation Maternal depression Cognitive behavioral therapy Child abuse prevention 



Supported in part by Grant R34MH073867 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The authors acknowledge the participation and support of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Kentucky H. A. N. D. S., Ohio Help Me Grow, and We also thank Angelique R. Teeters for her helpful comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert T. Ammerman
    • 1
  • Frank W. Putnam
    • 2
  • Jack Stevens
    • 4
  • Nicole R. Bosse
    • 1
  • Jodie A. Short
    • 3
  • Amy L. Bodley
    • 1
  • Judith B. Van Ginkel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s HospitalThe Ohio State University School of MedicineColumbusUSA

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