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A smartphone based intervention for dealing with postpartum depression

A current picture of the Smart-e-Moms team

A current picture of the Smart-e-Moms team

Project Description

Depression after pregnancy, also called postpartum depression, can have serious consequences for the affected mothers as well as for the health of their children. However, there are significant barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of affected mothers. A systematic and guideline-based psychotherapeutic treatment (psychotherapy) is often not readily available.

Therefore, the central goal of the project is to enable women with postpartum depressive symptoms to participate in an intervention via a smartphone app, in order to create a low-threshold, effective offer and improve care. The project comprises of two phases: The first phase involves the development of cognitive behavioral therapy and the app-based technical implementation of the intervention. In the second phase, the effectiveness and feasibility of the intervention will be analysed in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) compared to standard care, particularly regarding depressive symptoms and stress perception.

If the use of the app-based intervention proves to be successful, it will help improve the care of mothers with postpartum depression. An advisory board for sustainability will be established to accompany the project. Its task is to ensure that the intervention can be made available free of charge to affected women in the future.


Women who feel sad or depressed after the birth of their baby, are over 18 years old, live in Germany, and are not currently undergoing psychotherapeutic treatment can participate in the study.

You can find more detailed information about the study and the link to download the app here.


The study is being conducted by the Freie Universität Berlin, the Universitätskinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, and AOK Nordost.