Health professionals' perspective on the promotion of e-mental health apps in the context of maternal depression.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Our study focuses on exploring (1) the intention of health professionals to use and recommend e-mental health applications, (2) how this intention of health professionals might be influenced, (3) which group of health professionals might be most accessible to promote e-mental health applications for maternal depression, and (4) for which tasks they rate them to be most useful. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Based on a questionnaire informed by the theory of planned behavior, we collected 131 responses of U.S., Spanish, and Swiss health professionals in the field of pregnancy and maternal care (including psychologists, psychiatrists, midwives, and doctors) by means of an online survey. We analyzed the gathered data applying a structured equation model. RESULTS:Our study reveals that health professionals would in general intend to recommend and use e-mental health applications. However, their attitude towards e-mental health applications varies regarding the respective use cases and also differs among health professions. CONCLUSION:We offer three alternative propositions for private or public organizations, associations, or any other entity whose purpose is service to the community for introducing e-mental health applications into practice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Employees remain at risk of developing physical and mental health problems. To improve the lifestyle, health, and productivity many workplace interventions have been developed. However, not all of these interventions are effective. Mobile and wireless technology to support health behavior change (mobile health [mHealth] apps) is a promising, but relatively new domain for the occupational setting. Research on mHealth apps for the mental and physical health of employees is scarce. Interventions are more likely to be useful if they are rooted in health behavior change theory. Evaluating the presence of specific combinations of behavior change techniques (BCTs) in mHealth apps might be used as an indicator of potential quality and effectiveness. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to assess whether mHealth apps for the mental and physical health of employees incorporate BCTs and, if so, which BCTs can be identified and which combinations of BCTs are present. METHODS:An assessment was made of apps aiming to reduce the risk of physical and psychosocial work demands and to promote a healthy lifestyle for employees. A systematic search was performed in iTunes and Google Play. Forty-five apps were screened and downloaded. BCTs were identified using a taxonomy applied in similar reviews. The mean and ranges were calculated. RESULTS:On average, the apps included 7 of the 26 BCTs (range 2-18). Techniques such as "provide feedback on performance," "provide information about behavior-health link," and "provide instruction" were used most frequently. Techniques that were used least were "relapse prevention," "prompt self-talk," "use follow-up prompts," and "provide information about others' approval." "Stress management," "prompt identification as a role model," and "agree on behavioral contract" were not used by any of the apps. The combination "provide information about behavior-health link" with "prompt intention formation" was found in 7/45 (16%) apps. The combination "provide information about behavior-health link" with "provide information on consequences," and "use follow-up prompts" was found in 2 (4%) apps. These combinations indicated potential effectiveness. The least potentially effective combination "provide feedback on performance" without "provide instruction" was found in 13 (29%) apps. CONCLUSIONS:Apps for the occupational setting might be substantially improved to increase potential since results showed a limited presence of BCTs in general, limited use of potentially successful combinations of BCTs in apps, and use of potentially unsuccessful combinations of BCTs. Increasing knowledge on the effectiveness of BCTs in apps might be used to develop guidelines for app developers and selection criteria for companies and individuals. Also, this might contribute to decreasing the burden of work-related diseases. To achieve this, app developers, health behavior change professionals, experts on physical and mental health, and end-users should collaborate when developing apps for the working context.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Over the past several years, the emergence of mobile mental health apps has increased as a potential solution for populations who may face logistical and social barriers to traditional service delivery, including individuals connected to the military. OBJECTIVE:The goal of the #Here4U App - Military Version is to provide evidence-informed mental health support to members of Canada's military community, leveraging artificial intelligence in the form of IBM Canada's Watson Assistant to carry on unique text-based conversations with users, identify presenting mental health concerns, and refer users to self-help resources or recommend professional health care where appropriate. METHODS:As the availability and use of mental health apps has increased, so too has the list of recommendations and guidelines for efficacious development. We describe the development and testing conducted between 2018 and 2020 and assess the quality of the #Here4U App against 16 criteria for rigorous mental health app development, as identified by Bakker and colleagues in 2016. RESULTS:The #Here4U App - Military Version met the majority of Bakker and colleagues' criteria, with those unmet considered not applicable to this particular product or out of scope for research conducted to date. Notably, a formal evaluation of the efficacy of the app is a major priority moving forward. CONCLUSIONS:The #Here4U App - Military Version is a promising new mental health e-solution for members of the Canadian Armed Forces community, filling many of the gaps left by traditional service delivery.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Research regarding support provided for poor maternal postnatal mental health (such as depression, anxiety disorders, and postpartum psychosis) is relatively common. Fathers appear to play an important role supporting partners but many feel alienated within maternity services. Research focusing on fathers is less common. METHODS:The current qualitative study aimed to investigate fathers' experience of support provided to fathers, to help support their partner should she experience poor postnatal mental health. RESULTS:Twenty-five fathers participated in an online questionnaire regarding their experience of their partner's poor postnatal mental health and the support provided to fathers to help her. Thematic analysis revealed three main themes and seven sub-themes. The themes were: 'Support received to help support their partner', 'Support fathers wanted that was not received' and 'Father's mental health'. The results highlight an overall lack of support for many fathers, despite many wanting support on how to help their partner, information on their own mental health and the services available. Fathers specifically wanted healthcare professionals to sign-post them to someone they can talk to for emotional support, and to be taught coping strategies which would help them to support both their partner and baby. CONCLUSIONS:The findings from this study suggest that health professionals and perinatal mental health services need a better understanding about what resources fathers need to support the mental health of themselves and their partner.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The use of social media and mobile health (mHealth) apps has been increasing in pregnancy care. However, the effectiveness of these interventions is still unclear. OBJECTIVES:We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effectiveness of these interventions with regard to different health outcomes in pregnant and postpartum women and investigate the characteristics and components of interventions that may affect program effectiveness. METHOD:We performed a comprehensive literature search of major electronic databases and reference sections of related reviews and eligible studies. A random effects model was used to calculate the effect size. RESULTS:Fifteen randomized controlled trial studies published in and before June 2018 that met the inclusion criteria were included in the meta-analysis. The interventions were effective in promoting maternal physical health including weight management, gestational diabetes mellitus control, and asthma control with a moderate to large effect size (d=0.72). Large effect sizes were also found for improving maternal mental health (d=0.84) and knowledge about pregnancy (d=0.80). Weight control interventions using wearable devices were more effective. CONCLUSION:Social media and mHealth apps have the potential to be widely used in improving maternal well-being. More large-scale clinical trials focusing on different health outcomes are suggested for future studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There is little research on the application of gamification to mental health and well-being. Furthermore, usage of gamification-related terminology is inconsistent. Current applications of gamification for health and well-being have also been critiqued for adopting a behaviorist approach that relies on positive reinforcement and extrinsic motivators. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to analyze current applications of gamification for mental health and well-being by answering 3 research questions (RQs). RQ1: which gamification elements are most commonly applied to apps and technologies for improving mental health and well-being? RQ2: which mental health and well-being domains are most commonly targeted by these gamified apps and technologies? RQ3: what reasons do researchers give for applying gamification to these apps and technologies? A systematic review of the literature was conducted to answer these questions. METHODS:We searched ACM Digital Library, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, IEEE Explore, JMIR, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science for qualifying papers published between the years 2013 and 2018. To answer RQ1 and RQ2, papers were coded for gamification elements and mental health and well-being domains according to existing taxonomies in the game studies and medical literature. During the coding process, it was necessary to adapt our coding frame and revise these taxonomies. Thematic analysis was conducted to answer RQ3. RESULTS:The search and screening process identified 70 qualifying papers that collectively reported on 50 apps and technologies. The most commonly observed gamification elements were levels or progress feedback, points or scoring, rewards or prizes, narrative or theme, personalization, and customization; the least commonly observed elements were artificial assistance, unlockable content, social cooperation, exploratory or open-world approach, artificial challenge, and randomness. The most commonly observed mental health and well-being domains were anxiety disorders and well-being, whereas the least commonly observed domains were conduct disorder and bipolar disorders. Researchers' justification for applying gamification to improving mental health and well-being was coded in 59% (41/70) of the papers and was broadly divided into 2 themes: (1) promoting engagement and (2) enhancing an intervention's intended effects. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that the current application of gamification to apps and technologies for improving mental health and well-being does not align with the trend of positive reinforcement critiqued in the greater health and well-being literature. We also observed overlap between the most commonly used gamification techniques and existing behavior change frameworks. Results also suggest that the application of gamification is not driven by health behavior change theory, and that many researchers may treat gamification as a black box without consideration for its underlying mechanisms. We call for the inclusion of more comprehensive and explicit descriptions of how gamification is applied and the standardization of applied games terminology within and across fields.
Project description:Having good health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is essential, particularly for women after childbirth. However, little is known about its determinants. We aimed to identify the determinants of HRQoL after childbirth in a large community sample in the Netherlands. We have included 4312 women in the present study. HRQOL was assessed by a 12-Item Short Form Survey (SF-12) at around two months after childbirth; Physical and Mental Component Summary scores were calculated. Information on 27 potential determinants of HRQoL was collected through questionnaires and medical records. Multivariate linear regression models were applied to assess significant determinants of physical and mental HRQoL. Our study showed that older maternal age, shorter time since childbirth, elective/emergency cesarean delivery, loss of energy, maternal psychopathology, and the hospital admission of the infant were significantly associated with worse physical HRQoL (p < 0.05); older maternal age, non-western background, low household income, loss of energy, and maternal psychopathology were significantly associated with worse mental HRQoL (p < 0.05). We identified multiple determinants of suboptimal physical and mental HRQoL after childbirth. In particular, maternal psychopathology after childbirth was profoundly associated with mental HRQoL. These women may need support. We therefore call for awareness among health care professionals.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Health workers are one of the most important building blocks of the health system. High turnover rate contribute to the shortfalls and unbalanced distribution of health personnel in the health workforce. Turnover intention is the strongest predictor of actual turnover.<h4>Objective</h4>To assess the magnitude of turnover intention and associated factors among health professionals working in public health institutions of North Shoa Zone, Amhara region, Ethiopia.<h4>Methods</h4>A health facility based cross-sectional study was conducted from March to April 2016, on 612 health professionals working in public health institutions of North Shoa Zone, Amhara region, Ethiopia, using a multistage stratified sampling technique. Data were collected using a pretested self-administered structured questionnaire. The data were entered using Epidata version 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS version 22 software. Descriptive statistics were conducted to summarize the sample characteristics. Backward stepwise logistic regression model was fitted and AOR with 95% CI was calculated to identify the associated factors. P-value <0.05 was taken as a cut-off point for statistical significance. Ethical issues were addressed.<h4>Results</h4>Among the 568 health professionals who responded to the questionnaire, 348 (61.3%) of them reported to have the intention to leave their current workplaces. The results showed that being a male [AOR = 1.496 (95% CI: 1.016, 2.204)], medical doctor [AOR = 0.318 (95% CI: 0.122, 0.824)], unsatisfied with the work nature [AOR = 1.822 (95% CI: 1.206, 2.753)], unsatisfied with the incentives [AOR = 1.668 (95% CI: 1.105, 2.517)], and unsatisfied with the supervision [AOR = 1.916 (95% CI: 1.274, 2.881)] and having low normative commitment [AOR = 2.176 (95% CI: 1.482, 3.196)] were significantly associated with turnover intention of the health professionals.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The magnitude of turnover intention was high among health professionals working in public health institutions of North Shoa Zone. Health service managers and policymakers should develop evidence based retention strategies considering the determinants of health professionals' intention to leave.
Project description:Adolescents are digital natives, with the majority now owning their own smartphones and having internet access. Although the internet and smartphone applications (apps) can provide mental health support, little is known about how young adolescents use digital technology for mental health purposes. There are many digital health resources available for young people, but the assumption that they will be open to use them has been largely untested.We aimed to explore how adolescents with and without raised symptoms of anxiety, depression and problematic eating use the internet on smartphones/tablets and mental health apps.The Bristol Online Survey tool was used to deliver an online survey to 775 girls aged 11-16 years, attending a state-funded secondary school in the south-west of England. The survey was completed in class during the winter term of 2017.A total of 98.7 and 97.4% used the internet and apps, respectively, although only 6% had used any mental health apps. Of those with raised mental health symptoms, 15-17% used or were using a mental health app, with 48.5% reporting that they would not use a mental health app.Young female adolescents are avid users of the internet and apps but are not using digital technology for mental health purposes. Addressing concerns about digital technology are necessary to maximise the effect it can have on child and adolescent mental health.None.
Project description:The number of e-mental health apps is increasing rapidly. Studies have shown that the use of some apps is beneficial, whereas others are ineffective or do not meet users' privacy expectations. Individuals and organizations that curate, recommend, host, use, or pay for apps have an interest in categorizing apps according to the consensus criteria of usability and effectiveness. Others have previously published recommendations for assessing health-related apps; however, the extent to which these recommendations can be generalized across different population groups (eg, culture, gender, and language) remains unclear. This study describes an attempt by Canadian stakeholders to develop an e-mental health assessment framework that responds to the unique needs of people living in Canada in an evidence-based manner.The objective of our study was to achieve consensus from a broad group of Canadian stakeholders on guiding principles and criteria for a framework to assess e-mental health apps in Canada.We developed an initial set of guiding principles and criteria from a rapid review and environmental scan of pre-existing app assessment frameworks. The initial list was refined through a two-round modified Delphi process. Participants (N=25) included app developers and users, health care providers, mental health advocates, people with lived experience of a mental health problem or mental illness, policy makers, and researchers. Consensus on each guideline or criterion was defined a priori as at least 70% agreement. The first round of voting was conducted electronically. Prior to Round 2 voting, in-person presentations from experts and a persona empathy mapping process were used to explore the perspectives of diverse stakeholders.Of all respondents, 68% (17/25) in Round 1 and 100% (13/13) in Round 2 agreed that a framework for evaluating health apps is needed to help Canadian consumers identify high-quality apps. Consensus was reached on 9 guiding principles: evidence based, gender responsive, culturally appropriate, user centered, risk based, internationally aligned, enabling innovation, transparent and fair, and based on ethical norms. In addition, 15 informative and evaluative criteria were defined to assess the effectiveness, functionality, clinical applicability, interoperability, usability, transparency regarding security and privacy, security or privacy standards, supported platforms, targeted users, developers' transparency, funding transparency, price, user desirability, user inclusion, and meaningful inclusion of a diverse range of communities.Canadian mental health stakeholders reached the consensus on a framework of 9 guiding principles and 15 criteria important in assessing e-mental health apps. What differentiates the Canadian framework from other scales is explicit attention to user inclusion at all stages of the development, gender responsiveness, and cultural appropriateness. Furthermore, an empathy mapping process markedly influenced the development of the framework. This framework may be used to inform future mental health policies and programs.