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VCU Recruiting Pregnant Women for “Mindful Moms” Study

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing is now recruiting pregnant women to take part in a new Mindful Moms research study. Participants will take part in the Mindful Moms program, which involves gentle prenatal yoga and nurse-led motivational interviewing.

The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a grant to Patricia Kinser, PhD, at the VCU School of Nursing for a pilot study that will examine how motivational interviewing and prenatal yoga might reduce or prevent depression during and after pregnancy.

“Nearly 20 percent of pregnant women experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy and 13 percent experience chronic, recurrent symptoms,” said Kinser, whose research focuses on stress and depression in women and their families. “Appropriate treatment of depressive symptoms in pregnancy is essential, yet many women find the typical treatments such as antidepressant medications and psychotherapy insufficient to address their symptoms,” Kinser said, adding that women are often concerned about the stigma and cost of drugs and the possible side effects on themselves or their babies. “Pregnant women are in great need of safe, inexpensive self-management therapies to enhance their well-being, reduce the burden of symptoms during and after pregnancy and prevent chronic reoccurrence of depression,” Kinser said.

Through the grant, Kinser will work with an interprofessional team to study whether the self-management intervention will help women proactively address current and prevent future depression occurrences. The team will use nurse-led motivational interviewing to engage 40 pregnant women in their self-care. The women will participate in prenatal yoga classes and at-home physical activity. The study will evaluate whether the intervention is feasible and has preliminary effects on symptoms. The team will also evaluate for changes in epigenetic patterns, which measure how the psychosocial environment can affect genetic expression.

Interested individuals should contact Amy Rider, the project director/research nurse, at or 804-828-5579. Visit Mindful Moms for more information, online or on Facebook.


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