An interpersonally based intervention for low-income pregnant women with intimate partner violence: A pilot study

Caron Zlotnick, Nicole M. Capezza, Donna Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study assessed the initial feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of an intervention aimed at reducing depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of low-income pregnant women with recent intimate partner violence (IPV). Fifty-four women were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. The intervention consisted of four sessions during pregnancy and one "booster" session within 2 weeks of delivery. Based on principles of Interpersonal Psychotherapy, the intervention was designed to help participants improve their interpersonal relationships, including their social support networks, and master their role transition to motherhood. Assessments were administered at four time points (intake, 5-6 weeks post-intake, 2 weeks postpartum, 3 months postpartum) to assess for depression, PTSD, and IPV. The intervention did not significantly reduce the likelihood of a major depressive episode, PTSD, or IPV during pregnancy or up to 3-month postpartum. However, we found moderate effects for the intervention in reducing symptoms of PTSD and depression during pregnancy and a large effect for PTSD symptoms from pregnancy up to 3 months postpartum. This study suggests some initial support for our intervention. Larger randomized trials are needed to further examine the intervention both during and after pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Depression
  • Intervention
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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