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Can you help us with our study into maternal depression and OCD?

We're looking for people to help us find out more about what contributes to some women developing these problems, in particular what beliefs they may hold.

Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are both commonly occurring problems for women during pregnancy and the 12 months after giving birth. This project aims to find out more about what contributes to some women developing these problems, in particular what beliefs they may hold. Previous research has shown that beliefs can contribute to developing certain problems in life.

For example, negative beliefs about the self and others have been linked to depression outside of the perinatal period. If we can develop a better understanding of what causes and maintains mental health difficulties during this period, we can offer better support and training to staff involved in care.

Most of all, we want to normalise the perception of mental health difficulties in this period. It is common, and we want to improve knowledge and thereby acceptance and support to those that struggle.

The research is running from 01 November 2019 - 31 March 2020

Take part in this research

Find out if you can take part and what is involved in the study.

What will I need to do?

You'll need to answer a number of questions online that could take up to 60 minutes. The first set of questions will ask you about some of the symptoms you may be experiencing. This information will help us to understand if your main problem is depression, OCD, or both. The second set of questions will ask in a bit more detail about your beliefs and attitudes.

We know that it is common for people with OCD to have intrusive thoughts about what is most important to them at any given point in life. For this reason, some of the questions will ask about your experience of intrusive thoughts around harming or harm coming to your infant, which you may find upsetting. If this is the case, sources of support are provided at the bottom of this page and also at the end in the debrief section.

Who can take part?

To take part, you must

  • be over the age of 18
  • be pregnant or have given birth in the last 24 months

We are aiming to recruit participants experiencing OCD, depression (or both).

For safety reasons, we advise people who are experiencing active difficulties with suicide thoughts, substance misuse, psychosis and/or mania to not take part in this study. Instead, we would suggest you contact your GP if you are not already in contact with local services.

What you'll get in return

At the end of the questions you will be given the opportunity to select a maternal charity (Maternal OCD or Pandas UK), and we will donate £2 on your behalf. They support and advise parents who are experiencing a perinatal mental illness.


The survey is anonymous, and no personal information will be taken.

This study has received ethical approval and your personal information will kept confidential and anonymous.1

Contact the lead researcher to take part

Sign up

Contact us

If you have any questions about the research, please contact us.

1 The study has been approved by the Psychology Research Ethics Committee. (Reference Number: 18-234).