Process evaluation of couple-based psychoeducation program for first-time parents

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Rationale: Postpartum depression is a worldwide public health issue that can have long-term impact on the family. It is crucial to evaluate intervention program to help new parents cope with the stress of parenthood to reduce the risk of postpartum depression. The aim of this study was to explore the perceived benefits of the couple-based psychoeducation to first-time Hong Kong Chinese parents, and the crucial factors influencing the effectiveness of this program underpinned by the concept of process evaluation. 

Method: Using an exploratory qualitative design, a purposeful sample of 27 couples who had participated in the program were interviewed at 1-3 months postpartum. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and analysed by thematic analysis. 

Findings: The findings showed that the parents perceived the program to be useful in enhancing their parenting skills and emotional control, and increasing their sense of support. The effectiveness of the program was facilitated by (a) the predisposing factors such as couple-based approach to enhance mutual expectation and shared decision making when experiencing and managing challenges, and telephone follow-up calls to sustain the continuity of care from hospital to the community, (b) the enabling factor for instance, the time of intervention arranged in non-working hour, and (c) reinforcing factor namely involvement of midwives during program implementation and telephone follow-up consultation. 

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest the potential of the couple-based psychoeducation to support first-time parents in taking care of their children and controlling their emotions in this critical transition. The program could be integrated into maternal and child care services on a regular basis, and thus accessible to all first-time parents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • couple-based
  • parents
  • process evaluation
  • psychoeducation program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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