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Early childhood investment in low income countries is widely recognized as vital to global development. Thus, with the Bachpan Study, we aim to understand the mechanisms through which a five-year, low intensity, scalable maternal depression intervention might lead to lasting improvements in maternal health, parental investments, and child development. 



What is the intervention?

The Thinking Healthy Program, Peer-Delivered (THPP) delivers individual and group sessions from the third trimester of pregnancy to 6 months postnatal. The core psychological strategies include behavioral activation, narratives and pictures to gently challenge unhelpful thinking and behavior to encourage alternative helpful ones, in simple, everyday language. The peers collaborate with government-employed community health workers, called lady health workers (LHWs), and deliver the intervention through a mixture of individual and group sessions.


Who is included in the study?

The Bachpan cohort includes women aged ≥18 years old in their third trimester and registered with village-based health workers. Eligible women were screened for depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). All women who screened positive for depression were eligible for enrollment into the intervention trial and Bachpan cohort. One of every three women who screened negative for depression was enrolled into the Bachpan cohort as a control. Mother-child dyads have been followed-up since the inception of the study and are currently in the seventh year of participation.

What institutions contribute the Bachpan Study? 

The Bachpan study is led by Dr. Joanna Maselko at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in collaboration with partners at Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, the Human Development Research Foundation, the Health Services Academy, and the Institute of Psychiatry at the Rawalpindi Medical University in Pakistan. Researchers from Duke University, Yale University, Columbia University, The University of Liverpool, The University of Warwick, The University of Melbourne, and The University of Bologna also contribute to the project. Shown below are some of the main people involved in the study.










Who funded the Bachpan Study? 

The Bachpan study has been made possible by funding from the National Institutes of Health, NICHD, R01 HD075875; U19MH95687 and R03HD097434, and the CEDIL grant L.260.

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