Postpartum Early EMDR therapy Intervention (PERCEIVE) study for women after a traumatic birth experience: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Y M G A Hendrix, K S M van Dongen, A de Jongh, M G van Pampus

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Abstract

Background
Up to 33% of women develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a traumatic birth experience. Negative and traumatic childbirth experiences can also lead to fear of childbirth, avoiding or negatively influencing a subsequent pregnancy, mother-infant bonding problems, problems with breastfeeding, depression and reduced quality of life. For PTSD in general, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has proven to be effective. However, little is known about the preventive effects of early intervention EMDR therapy in women after a traumatic birth experience. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of early intervention EMDR therapy in preventing PTSD and reducing PTSD symptoms in women with a traumatic birth experience.

Methods
The PERCEIVE study is a randomized controlled trial. Women suffering from the consequences of a traumatic birth experience will be randomly allocated at maximum 14 days postpartum to either EMDR therapy or ‘care-as-usual’. Patients in the EMDR group receive two sessions of therapy between 14 (T0) and 35 days postpartum. All participants will be assessed at T0 and at 9 weeks postpartum (T1). At T1, all participants will undergo a CAPS-5 interview about the presence and severity of PTSD symptoms. The primary outcome measure is the severity of PTSD symptoms, whereas the secondary outcomes pertain to fear of childbirth, mother-infant bonding, breastfeeding, depression and quality of life. The study will be conducted at a large city hospital and at multiple midwifery practices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Discussion
It is to be expected that the results of this study will provide more insight about the safety and effectiveness of early intervention EMDR therapy in the prevention and reduction of PTSD (symptoms) in women with a traumatic birth experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number599
JournalTrials
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic - diagnosis - therapy
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Postpartum
  • Trauma
  • Childbirth
  • PTSD
  • EMDR
  • Quality of Life
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Delivery
  • Postpartum Period
  • Obstetrics
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Anxiety
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy

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