Exploring the effect of the 'Growing Together' parenting education kit on early parenting - Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Significant gaps exist in education for prospective and new parents, especially for some of the most vulnerable families. Prospective parents would like more information during pregnancy to prepare them for parenting, and need access to trusted and quality information. The Royal Women's Hospital (the Women's) in Melbourne, Australia, a large tertiary referral maternity hospital, developed a parenting education kit known as 'Growing Together'. The kit, designed to guide prospective and new parents from conception until 1 year after birth, includes three components: an A4 sized book, a specifically designed 'App' and a children's story book. We aim to evaluate the impact of the kit on a range of outcomes. METHODS:A two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial will be used. Antenatal clinic days will be randomised to either the intervention or standard care arms. Women in the intervention arm receive the kit at their antenatal booking visit. Women in the standard care arm receive the standard information resources at the Women's. Analyses will be by intention to treat. INCLUSION CRITERIA:primiparous women with adequate English-speaking ability and ≤ 30 weeks' gestation at first pregnancy booking appointment. The primary outcome of the study is the 'experience of motherhood questionnaire' (EMQ), a 20 item validated self-report measure, ranging from 0 to 80, with lower scores indicating better maternal health and wellbeing. To detect a 10% difference in new mothers scoring ≤40 between women who have received the kit (60%) and those who have not (50%), would require 408 per group (total of 816 women) with 95% confidence and 80% power. Allowing for loss to follow up, we aim to recruit 1000 mothers. Secondary outcomes include parents' views and experiences of their care and of the kit during pregnancy and after the birth, parental attachment, knowledge, confidence, wellbeing and health-seeking behaviour; and emotional, developmental and physical health of the infant. Survey data will be collected from mothers at 2, 6 and 12 months postpartum and partners at 6 months. DISCUSSION:This study will provide much needed high-level evidence on the impact of a comprehensive education resource for new parents. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ANZCTRN12615000270516 - Retrospectively registered (23/03/2015); trial started on 16 March 2015.

publication date

  • 2019