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Open Access Study protocol

Wide Awake Parenting: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a parenting program for the management of post-partum fatigue

Melissa Dunning*, Monique Seymour, Amanda Cooklin and Rebecca Giallo

Author affiliations

Parenting Research Centre, 5/232 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, VIC, 3002, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-26

Published: 11 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Exhaustion and fatigue are commonly experienced by parents during the post-partum period, and can have implications for daily functioning, mental health and parenting practices. There is a need for the development of effective interventions to assist parents with the management of fatigue. This paper outlines the procedure for a randomised controlled study which aims to test the efficacy of Wide Awake Parenting, a program for the management of fatigue in the postnatal period.

Methods/design

Parents with an infant less than 6 months of age, and from seven Local Government Areas in Melbourne, Australia were invited to participate in this study. Parents were randomised to receive the Wide Awake Parenting program (intervention groups) or usual care (control group) offered by health services. The Wide Awake Parenting program provides parents with psycho-education and information about fatigue, and strategies to reduce its effects either via a self-directed method, or professionally led with a home visit and telephone support. Baseline data will be collected prior to randomisation, and further data will be collected at 2- and 6-weeks post intervention.

Discussion

To our knowledge this is the first randomised controlled trial of a program which compares the efficacy of a self-management approach and health professional assistance for the management of fatigue in the early post-partum period. If effective, it could offer an important, universal public health management approach to this common health concern.

Trial registration number

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12611000133932.

Keywords:
Fatigue; Parents; Post-partum; Pycho-educational Intervention