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Can a community-led intervention offering social support and health education improve maternal health? A repeated measures evaluation of the pact project run in a socially deprived london borough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

June Brown, Ana Luderowski, Josephine Namusisi-Riley, Imogen Moore-Shelley, Matthew Bolton, Derek Bolton

Original languageEnglish
Article number2795
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

Social adversity can significantly influence the wellbeing of mothers and their children. Maternal health may be improved through strengthened support networks and better health literacy. Health improvement at the population level requires optimizing of the collaboration between statutory health services, civic organizations (e.g., churches, schools), as well as community groups and parents. Two key elements in improving community engagement are co-production and community control. This study evaluated a co-produced and community-led project, PACT (Parents and Communities Together), for mothers in a deprived south London borough. The project offered social support and health education. Intended effects were improvements in mental health, health literacy, and social support, assessed by standardized measures in a pre-post design. Sixty-one mothers consented to take part in the evaluation. Significant improvements were found in mental health measures, in health literacy, for those with low literacy at baseline, and in overall and some specific aspects of social support. Satisfaction with the project was high. We found that the project engaged local populations that access statutory health services relatively less. We conclude that community-organized and community-led interventions in collaboration with statutory health services can increase accessibility and can improve mothers’ mental health and other health-related outcomes.

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