DadBooster — An online depression treatment for dad

Becoming a dad doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t happen without a fair amount of upheaval and challenges. Many Dads have spoken about the mix of feelings they have had as they plan for and take home their new baby on their journey to parenthood.

It may surprise you that 10% of men may experience symptoms of depression when expecting a new baby. New fathers who are struggling are often overlooked and their difficulties are not acknowledged by a system that has focused mainly on mother and baby health and wellbeing. This means that dads have not had ready access to treatment when they need it.

What is DadBooster?

DadBooster is designed for men (fathers or non-birthing partners) who are helping to care for a baby who are feeling overwhelmed and may be experiencing some of the signs of anxiety and depression.

  • DadBooster is a 6-session cognitive-behavioural therapy treatment program accessed online.
  • This is similar to the therapy delivered in traditional face-to-face psychology sessions.
  • The advantage of online treatment is that it allows men to work through their own issues in their own time.
  • The program offers tailored strategies for dealing with issues you may be struggling with.
  • Low-intensity SMS messages provide regular contact, advice, and encouragement.
  • Changes in symptoms of depression are monitored throughout the program.
  • Men can invite their partners to access a partner website with information on paternal depression and for managing their own emotional health.

What is the purpose of this research study?

The Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) has developed an online program for dads to address their wellbeing. PIRI is conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the DadBooster program as a treatment for dads with perinatal depression and anxiety.

What does participation involve?

Potential participants will complete questionnaires and a telephone assessment with a psychologist to determine whether the DadBooster program is suitable for them. Men will then complete the self-paced 6-session cognitive-behavioural therapy treatment program online either straight away or after 12 weeks. Follow-up questionnaires and assessments are completed 9-weeks and 12-weeks post-enrolment to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

The DadBooster study is open for recruitment. Find out more about DadBooster and join the study:

Visit the website

Download the flyer