La Trobe
1198733_Dauber,S_2022.pdf (583.23 kB)

Adaptive Text Messaging for Postpartum Risky Drinking: Conceptual Model and Protocol for an Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

Download (583.23 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-12, 04:13 authored by S Dauber, A Beacham, C Hammond, A West, Johannes ThrulJohannes Thrul
Background: Risky drinking is prevalent among women of childbearing age. Although many women reduce their drinking during pregnancy, more than half return to prepregnancy levels during the early postpartum period. Risky drinking in new mothers may be associated with negative child and maternal health outcomes; however, new mothers are unlikely to seek treatment for risky drinking because of stigma and fear of child protective service involvement. SMS text messaging is a promising approach for reaching non–treatment-seeking new mothers at risk because of risky drinking. SMS text messaging interventions (TMIs) are empirically supported for alcohol use, but a tailored intervention for new mothers does not exist. This study aims to fill this gap by developing a just-in-time adaptive TMI for postpartum risky drinking. Objective: The objectives of this paper are to present a preliminary conceptual model of postpartum risky drinking and describe the protocol for conducting an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study with new mothers to inform the refinement of the conceptual model and development of the TMI. Methods: This paper presents a preliminary conceptual model of postpartum risky drinking based on the motivational model of alcohol use, social cognitive theory, and temporal self-regulation theory. The model proposes three primary intervention targets: motivation, self-efficacy, and self-regulation. Theoretical and empirical literature in support of the conceptual model is described. The paper also describes procedures for a study that will collect EMA data from 30 participants recruited via social media and the perinatal Central Intake system of New Jersey. Following the baseline assessment, EMA surveys will be sent 5 times per day for 14 days. The assessment instruments and data analysis procedures are described. Results: Recruitment is scheduled to begin in January 2022 and is anticipated to conclude in March 2022. Study results are estimated to be published in July 2022. Conclusions: The study findings will enhance our understanding of daily and momentary fluctuations in risk and protective factors for risky drinking during the early postpartum period. The findings will be used to refine the conceptual model and inform the development of the TMI. The next steps for this work include the development of intervention components via an iterative participatory design process and testing of the resulting intervention in a pilot microrandomized trial.


Publication Date



JMIR Research Protocols






(p. e36849)


JMIR Publications Inc.



Rights Statement

© Sarah Dauber, Alexa Beacham, Cori Hammond, Allison West, Johannes Thrul. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (, 04.04.2022. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles



    Ref. manager