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RELAX study needs south London volunteers

relax study banner

A south London researcher is urging pregnant women to take part in research that could reduce anxiety during pregnancy and after birth.

An online training programme is being tested as part of the RELAX study. The hope is the intervention will reduce worry and anxiety in pregnant women and new mothers. According to the study team, 40% of pregnant women and new mothers experience anxiety.

Women who take part in the RELAX study will need to complete 12 20-minute online sessions over four weeks. Professor Colette Hirsch is the Chief Investigator for the RELAX study. She is also a Professor in Cognitive Clinical Psychology at King's College London and a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Professor Hirsch said:

"Women told us how anxiety experienced during pregnancy made their lives miserable. Anxiety can impact different aspects of people's lives and affect their loved ones. We welcome pregnant women from all backgrounds to take part in the study. I also hope our volunteers find the online sessions engaging.

"This study will help us understand if our training programme can help reduce anxiety. Everyone who takes part will help us see if offering this intervention is beneficial."

The RELAX study is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR Clinical Research Network South London is supporting recruitment to the study.

Women will receive a £25 online shopping voucher for each completed assessment. There are four assessments over nine months. Those who complete the screening questionnaire on the website will also be entered into a prize draw. The prize draw winner will receive a £50 online shopping voucher.

If you’re a healthcare professional who would like to help promote the study by displaying posters in the maternity areas of your hospitals, please get in touch with the study team directly via

You can find out more on the RELAX study website.