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A Mobile Health App-Based Postnatal Educational Program (Home-but not Alone): Descriptive Qualitative Study.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The postnatal period poses numerous challenges for new parents. Various educational programs are available to support new parents during this stressful period. However, the usefulness of educational programs must be evaluated to ascertain their credibility. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this descriptive, qualitative study was to explore the views of parents of newborns with regard to the content and delivery of a mobile health (mHealth) app-based postnatal educational program. METHODS:A qualitative semistructured interview guide was used to collect data from 17 participants who belonged to the intervention group of a randomized controlled trial. The intervention, a 4-week-long access to a mHealth app-based educational program, was evaluated. The interviews were conducted in English and at the participants' homes. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research checklist was used to report the findings. RESULTS:The interviews revealed 4 main themes: (1) positive features of the mHealth app, (2) advice from midwives, (3) experiences gained from using the mHealth app, and (4) recommendations for the future. The participants evaluated the educational program to be a good source of information that was tailored to the local context. The different modes of delivery, including audio and video, accentuated the accessibility of information. The parents evaluated that the facilitator of the featured communication platform, a midwife, provided trustworthy advice. Belongingness to a virtual community beyond the hospital endowed the parents the confidence that they were not alone and were supported by other parents and health care professionals. CONCLUSIONS:According to the parents, the mHealth app-based educational program was helpful in supporting a multi-ethnic sample of parents during the postnatal period. This insight indicates that the program could be implemented in a wide community of parents in the postnatal period. The helpfulness of the educational program is a testament of the potential benefits of using telemedicine among new parents postnatally. Resources can also be dedicated toward extending the duration of access to the app beyond 1 month and developing relevant content for parents across the perinatal period.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5934535 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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