Community psychosocial music intervention (CHIME) to reduce antenatal common mental disorder symptoms in The Gambia: a feasibility trial

Sanfilippo, Katie Rose M; McConnell, Bonnie; Cornelius, Victoria; Darboe, Buba; Huma, Hajara B; Gaye, Malick; Ceesay, Hassoum; Ramchandani, Paul; Cross, Ian; Glover, Vivette and Stewart, Lauren. 2020. Community psychosocial music intervention (CHIME) to reduce antenatal common mental disorder symptoms in The Gambia: a feasibility trial. BMJ Open, 10(11), e040287. ISSN 2044-6055 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Objectives: Examine the feasibility of a Community Health Intervention through Musical Engagement (CHIME) in The Gambia to reduce common mental disorder (CMD) symptoms in pregnant women.

Design: Feasibility trial testing a randomised stepped-wedge cluster design.

Setting: Four local antenatal clinics.

Participants: Women who were 14–24 weeks pregnant and spoke Mandinka or Wolof were recruited into the intervention (n=50) or control group (n=74).

Intervention: Music-based psychosocial support sessions designed and delivered by all-female fertility societies. Sessions lasted 1 hour and were held weekly for 6 weeks. Delivered to groups of women with no preselection. Sessions were designed to lift mood, build social connection and provide health messaging through participatory music making. The control group received standard antenatal care.

Outcomes: Demographic, feasibility, acceptability outcomes and the appropriateness of the study design were assessed. Translated measurement tools (Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20); Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)) were used to assess CMD symptoms at baseline, post-intervention and 4-week follow-up.

Results: All clinics and 82% of women approached consented to take part. A 33% attrition rate across all time points was observed. 72% in the intervention group attended at least three sessions. Audio and video analysis confirmed fidelity of the intervention and a thematic analysis of participant interviews demonstrated acceptability and positive evaluation. Results showed a potential beneficial effect with a reduction of 2.13 points (95% CI (0.89 to 3.38), p<0.01, n=99) on the SRQ-20 and 1.98 points (95% CI (1.06 to 2.90), p<0.01, n=99) on the EPDS at the post-intervention time point for the intervention group compared with standard care.

Conclusion: Results demonstrate that CHIME is acceptable and feasible in The Gambia. To our knowledge, CHIME is the first example of a music-based psychosocial intervention to be applied to perinatal mental health in a low- and middle-income country context.

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Additional Information:

Funding: This study was funded by the MRC-AHRC Global Public Health: Partnership Awards scheme (MR/R024618/1) awarded to Professor Lauren Stewart

Trial registration number: Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR201901917619299).

Data Access Statement:

Data availability statement: De-identified participant data that underline the results reported in this article are available upon reasonable request from the corresponding author (

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30 September 2020Accepted
23 November 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

20 Mar 2023 09:59

Last Modified:

20 Mar 2023 10:07

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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