Home / Research / RAPID



Each year approximately 750,000 UK pregnant women in the UK use midwifery services, and it is estimated that 14% will experience symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety disorders are associated with postnatal depression, low birthweight, premature birth and developmental and behavioural problems in children. For women with mild to moderate anxiety, psychological support may help reduce anxiety and prevent their symptoms becoming more severe.

What is RAPID?

RAPID stands for Reducing Anxiety in Pregnancy – Intervention Development and is a programme of work led by Kerry Evans. The current work programme (RAPID-2) is funded 2021 to 2024 as a HEE / NIHR Clinical Lectureship award, hosted by the Institute of Care Excellence at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the School of Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham.

What does RAPID involve?

RAPID-1 designed and tested a new intervention to support women with symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety in pregnancy. The RAPID intervention was designed with involvement from women who had experienced anxiety in their pregnancies. It consists of groups sessions, individual midwife support and self-help materials, and is facilitated by trained midwives and midwifery support workers.

In RAPID-2 a bespoke training programme is now being developed, consisting of a training workbook and 2-day workshop for midwives and maternity support workers. We will then test the feasibility of the RAPID intervention by recruiting first-time pregnant women with self-reported symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety. A service user advisory panel from the Nottingham Maternity Research Network will inform the study conduct and progress throughout the three-year process.

As part of the study and in response to COVID-19, the way the intervention is delivered is being considered. Work is underway to review the evidence for delivering remote interventions (i.e. on-line and other digital methods) in collaboration with researchers from the University of Nottingham Institute for Mental Health , Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group and Digital Research. We are asking women and healthcare professionals their views about the ways care for women with mild to moderate anxiety can be delivered in the future.


We describe the development of the RAPID intervention here, which was based on systematic reviews of effectiveness here and acceptability here of non-pharmacological interventions for anxiety in pregnant women. The intervention is now being evaluated in a cluster trial based on a published protocol here.

Further information

For further information about RAPID please contact Kerry Evans at: kerry.evans1@nottingham.ac.uk