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.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Transitioning into parenthood can be stressful as parents struggle to cope with new parenting responsibilities. Although perinatal care in hospitals aims to improve parental outcomes, there is a general consensus that it is suboptimal and insufficient. Therefore, many studies have designed intervention methods to supplement support for parents during this stressful period. However, studies often focus on parental outcomes as indicators of their interventions' success and effectiveness. Studies evaluating participants' experiences and feedback are limited. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to examine the experiences and perceptions of participants who participated in a supportive education parenting program intervention study. METHODS:A qualitative semistructured interview was conducted with 16 mothers (6 control and 10 intervention) from a randomized controlled trial. The supportive education parenting program received by the intervention group included 2 phone-based perinatal educational sessions, a phone-based educational session after childbirth, and a 1-month postpartum access to a mobile health app. The interviews were approximately 30- to 60-min long, audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Study findings were reported according to the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research checklist. RESULTS:The 3 main themes evaluating mothers' experiences and perceptions were generated: (1) changed perspective toward parenthood, (2) journey from pregnancy to after birth, and (3) a way forward. Mothers from the intervention group mostly had good perinatal experiences with sufficient support received, which elevated their emotional well-being and increased parenting involvement. Mothers in the control group, although satisfied with the hospital care received, were more stressed and shared a need for professional advice and extra support. Apart from technical enhancements, mothers also requested extended social support during early pregnancy up to 1 year postpartum, taking into consideration Asian cultural practices. CONCLUSIONS:Mothers who received the intervention were overall satisfied with the support provided by the technology-based supportive educational parenting program. The success of the educational program in this study highlights the need to supplement standard care in hospitals with technology-based educational programs. Future research should include fathers' perceptions to attain an in-depth understanding of overall participants' experiences and needs in the future development of supportive and educational programs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The app-based salt reduction intervention program in school children and their families (AppSalt) is a multicomponent mobile health (mHealth) intervention program, which involves multiple stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, school heads, and local health and education authorities. The complexity of the AppSalt program highlights the need for process evaluation to investigate how the implementation will be achieved at different sites.<h4>Objective</h4>This paper presents a process evaluation protocol of the AppSalt program, which aims to monitor the implementation of the program, explain its causal mechanisms, and provide evidence for scaling up the program nationwide.<h4>Methods</h4>A mixed methods approach will be used to collect data relating to five process evaluation dimensions: fidelity, dose delivered, dose received, reach, and context. Quantitative data, including app use logs, activity logs, and routine monitoring data, will be collected alongside the intervention process to evaluate the quantity and quality of intervention activities. The quantitative data will be summarized as medians, means, and proportions as appropriate. Qualitative data will be collected through semistructured interviews of purposely selected intervention participants and key stakeholders from local health and education authorities. The thematic analysis technique will be used for analyzing the qualitative data with the support of NVivo 12. The qualitative data will be triangulated with the quantitative data during the interpretation phase to explain the 5 process evaluation dimensions.<h4>Results</h4>The intervention activities of the AppSalt program were initiated at 27 primary schools in three cities since October 2018. We have completed the 1-year intervention of this program. The quantitative data for this study, including app use log, activity logs, and the routine monitoring data, were collected and organized during the intervention process. After completing the intervention, we conducted semistructured interviews with 32 students, 32 parents, 9 teachers, 9 school heads, and 8 stakeholders from local health and education departments. Data analysis is currently underway.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Using mHealth technology for salt reduction among primary school students is an innovation in China. The findings of this study will help researchers understand the implementation of the AppSalt program and similar mHealth interventions in real-world settings. Furthermore, this process evaluation will be informative for other researchers and policy makers interested in replicating the AppSalt program and designing their salt reduction intervention.<h4>International registered report identifier (irrid)</h4>DERR1-10.2196/19430.
Project description:The first year of life is an important window to initiate healthy infant feeding practices to promote healthy growth. Interventions delivered by mobile phone (mHealth) provide a novel approach for reaching parents; however, little is known about the effectiveness of mHealth for child obesity prevention.The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an mHealth obesity prevention intervention in terms of reach, acceptability, and impact on key infant feeding outcomes.A quasi-experimental study was conducted with an mHealth intervention group (Growing healthy) and a nonrandomized comparison group (Baby's First Food). The intervention group received access to a free app and website containing information on infant feeding, sleep and settling, and general support for parents with infants aged 0 to 9 months. App-generated notifications directed parents to age-and feeding-specific content within the app. Both groups completed Web-based surveys when infants were less than 3 months old (T1), at 6 months of age (T2), and 9 months of age (T3). Survival analysis was used to examine the duration of any breastfeeding and formula introduction, and cox proportional hazard regression was performed to examine the hazard ratio for ceasing breast feeding between the two groups. Multivariate logistic regression with adjustment for a range of child and parental factors was used to compare the exclusive breastfeeding, formula feeding behaviors, and timing of solid introduction between the 2 groups. Mixed effect polynomial regression models were performed to examine the group differences in growth trajectory from birth to T3.A total of 909 parents initiated the enrollment process, and a final sample of 645 parents (Growing healthy=301, Baby's First Food=344) met the eligibility criteria. Most mothers were Australian born and just under half had completed a university education. Retention of participants was high (80.3%, 518/645) in both groups. Most parents (226/260, 86.9%) downloaded and used the app; however, usage declined over time. There was a high level of satisfaction with the program, with 86.1% (143/166) reporting that they trusted the information in the app and 84.6% (170/201) claiming that they would recommend it to a friend. However, some technical problems were encountered with just over a quarter of parents reporting that the app failed to work at times. There were no significant differences between groups in any of the target behaviors. Growth trajectories also did not differ between the 2 groups.An mHealth intervention using a smartphone app to promote healthy infant feeding behaviors is a feasible and acceptable mode for delivering obesity prevention intervention to parents; however, app usage declined over time. Learnings from this study will be used to further enhance the program so as to improve its potential for changing infant feeding behaviors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Despite the importance of their perspectives, end users (eg, patients, caregivers) are not typically engaged by academic researchers in the development of mobile health (mHealth) apps for perioperative cardiac surgery settings.<h4>Objective</h4>The aim of this study was to describe a process for and the impact of patient engagement in the development of an mHealth app that supports patient and caregiver involvement with enhanced recovery protocols during the perioperative period of cardiac surgery.<h4>Methods</h4>Engagement occurred at the level of consultation and took the form of an advisory panel. Patients who underwent cardiac surgery (2017-2018) at St. Boniface Hospital (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and their caregivers were approached for participation. A qualitative exploration determined the impact of patient engagement on the development (ie, design and content) of the mHealth app. This included a description of (1) the key messages generated by the advisory panel, (2) how key messages were incorporated into the development of the mHealth app, and (3) feedback from the developers of the mHealth app about the key messages generated by the advisory panel.<h4>Results</h4>The advisory panel (N=10) generated 23 key messages to guide the development of the mHealth app. Key design-specific messages (n=7) centered around access, tracking, synchronization, and reminders. Key content-specific messages (n=16) centered around medical terms, professional roles, cardiac surgery procedures and recovery, educational videos, travel, nutrition, medications, resources, and physical activity. This information was directly incorporated into the design of the mHealth app as long as it was supported by the existing functionalities of the underlying platform. For example, the platform did not support the scheduling of reminders by users, identifying drug interactions, or synchronizing with other devices. The developers of the mHealth app noted that key messages resulted in the integration of a vast range and volume of information and resources instead of ones primarily focused on surgical information, content geared toward expectations management, and an expanded focus to include caregivers and other family members, so that these stakeholders may be directly included in the provision of information, allowing them to be better informed, prepare along with the patient, and be involved in recovery planning.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Patient engagement may facilitate the development of a detail-oriented and patient-centered mHealth app whose design and content are driven by the lived experiences of end users.
Project description:Conventional face-to-face weight loss and weight control programs are very labor intensive for both the patient and the provider. It is unclear to what extent conventional programs can be (partially) completed by mobile health (mHealth) apps.The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of different weight loss programs using a combination of conventional and mobile programs among adults who are overweight (body mass index [BMI]>29 kg/m²).A single-blinded randomized controlled trial among obese adults was performed from September 2015 to March 2016. The study took place in Leuven, Belgium. Of the 102 eligible (BMI >29 kg/m²) adults, 81 (79%) completed the study. The three intervention groups consisted of a conventional face-to-face weight loss program, a weight loss app program (app group), and a partial face-to-face and partial app program (combi group). All intervention groups received the same advice from a dietician and a physical activity coach during a 12-week period. The control group did not receive any information during the same period. Primary outcomes were weight reduction (5% decrease of baseline weight in kg), BMI, metabolic risk factors, dietary pattern, and physical activity.Significant more participants in all three intervention groups lost at least 5% or more of their weight at baseline compared with the control group. No significant difference was found between the combi group and the conventional group. A trend was found that more participants in the combi group lost 5% or more compared with the app group (19%), P=.06. A significant time x group effect was found for BMI and metabolic risk factors, with the control group having the worst results and the combi group being significantly better with regard to BMI compared with the app group. No significant group x time effects were found for the intake of different food and drinks and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).The results of this study show that a conventional weight loss program could partially be completed with an mHealth program without affecting the effectiveness.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02595671; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02595671 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6w1H0x1Q6).
Project description:Young people with type 1 diabetes often struggle to self-manage their disease. Mobile health (mHealth) apps show promise in supporting self-management of chronic conditions such as type 1 diabetes. Many health care providers become involved in app development. Unfortunately, limited information is available to guide their selection of appropriate methods, techniques, and tools for a participatory design (PD) project in health care.The aim of our study was to develop an mHealth app to support young people in self-managing type 1 diabetes. This paper presents our methodological recommendations based on experiences and reflections from a 2-year research study.A mixed methods design was used to identify user needs before designing the app and testing it in a randomized controlled trial. App design was based on qualitative, explorative, interventional, and experimental activities within an overall iterative PD approach. Several techniques and tools were used, including workshops, a mail panel, think-aloud tests, and a feasibility study.The final mHealth solution was "Young with Diabetes" (YWD). The iterative PD approach supported researchers and designers in understanding the needs of end users (ie, young people, parents, and health care providers) and their assessment of YWD, as well as how to improve app usability and feasibility. It is critical to include all end user groups during all phases of a PD project and to establish a multidisciplinary team to provide the wide range of expertise required to build a usable and useful mHealth app.Future research is needed to develop and evaluate more efficient PD techniques. Health care providers need guidance on what tools and techniques to choose for which subgroups of users and guidance on how to introduce an app to colleagues to successfully implement an mHealth app in health care organizations. These steps are important for anyone who wants to design an mHealth app for any illness.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Transitioning into parenthood can be stressful for new parents, especially with the lack of continuity of care from health care professionals during the postpartum period. Short hospital stays limit the availability of support and time parents need to be well equipped with parenting and infant care skills. Poor parental adjustment may, in turn, lead to negative parental outcomes and adversely affect the child's development. For the family's future well-being, and to facilitate a smoother transition into parenthood, there is a need for easily accessible, technology-based educational programs to support parents during the crucial perinatal period.<h4>Objective</h4>This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a technology-based supportive educational parenting program (SEPP) on parenting outcomes during the perinatal period in couples.<h4>Methods</h4>A randomized, single-blinded, parallel-armed, controlled trial was conducted. The study recruited 236 parents (118 couples) from an antenatal clinic of a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Eligible parents were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n=118) or the control group (n=118). The SEPP is based on Bandura's self-efficacy theory and Bowlby's theory of attachment. Components of the intervention include 2 telephone-based educational sessions (1 antenatal and 1 immediately postnatal) and a mobile health app follow-up for 1 month. The control group only received routine perinatal care provided by the hospital. Outcome measures including parenting self-efficacy (PSE), parental bonding, perceived social support, parenting satisfaction, postnatal depression (PND), and anxiety were measured using reliable and valid instruments. Data were collected over 6 months at 4 time points: during pregnancy (third trimester), 2 days postpartum, 1 month postpartum, and 3 months postpartum. Outcomes were standardized using baseline means and SDs. Linear mixed models were used to compare the groups for postpartum changes in the outcome variables.<h4>Results</h4>The intervention group showed significantly better outcome scores than the control group from baseline to 3 months postpartum for PSE (mean difference, MD, 0.37; 95% CI 0.06 to 0.68; P=.02), parental bonding (MD -1.32; 95% CI -1.89 to -0.75; P<.001), self-perceived social support (MD 0.69; 95% CI 0.18 to 1.19; P=.01), parenting satisfaction (MD 1.40; 95% CI 0.86 to 1.93; P<.001), and PND (MD -0.91; 95% CI -1.34 to -0.49; P<.001). Postnatal anxiety (PNA) scores of the intervention group were only significantly better after adjusting for covariates (MD -0.82; 95% CI -1.15 to -0.49; P<.001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The technology-based SEPP is effective in enhancing parental bonding, PSE, perceived social support and parental satisfaction, and in reducing PND and PNA. Health care professionals could incorporate it with existing hands-on infant care classes and routine care to better meet parents' needs and create positive childbirth experiences, which may in turn encourage parents to have more children.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN48536064; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN48536064 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6wMuEysiO).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Mobile health (mHealth) interventions can improve health by improving cardiovascular risk factors, but their adoption in care by physicians and patients is untapped. Few mHealth apps have been evaluated in clinical trials, and due to the fast pace of technological development, those previously evaluated are often outdated by the time trial results are available. Given the rapid pace of change in this field, it is not feasible to rigorously evaluate mHealth apps with current methodologies.<h4>Objective</h4>The overall aim of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of using a web research platform called Trial My App to conduct efficient and rigorous web-based randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of mHealth apps relevant to patients with cardiovascular risk factors by evaluating an app that targets hypertension.<h4>Methods</h4>For this study, 200 participants with suboptimally controlled hypertension will be recruited through advertisements in newsletters, media, and the internet, as well as through referrals from their health care providers. Screening, consent, randomization, and collection of patient-important health confidence and self-management ability outcomes will be conducted online through the Trial My App research platform. Participants will be randomized into 2 groups: 100 that will use an mHealth app for tracking hypertension and 100 that will be considered as an educational control. All participants will complete questionnaires at 0, 1, 3 and 6 months after enrolment. A substudy to validate the method of blood pressure readings and the consistency of data entered through Trial My App will be conducted with 40 participants.<h4>Results</h4>The development of the Trial My App web platform has been completed. The creation of survey instruments has been completed in collaboration with our patient partners and advisory board. Recruitment is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021; data collection and analysis are expected to be completed approximately 1 year after study commencement. Results will be disseminated through conferences and publications. The primary outcomes of this study include the feasibility of conducting an RCT using the Trial My App platform by reporting recruitment, retention, and completion statistics. We will validate app-entered data with a standard 7-day home blood pressure measurement method. Lastly, the pilot, nonblinded RCT will assess the effectiveness of the mHealth app in improving the control of hypertension compared with the control of hypertension in the educational control group.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study will determine if it is feasible to use the Trial My App web-based platform to evaluate the effectiveness of mHealth apps for patients with cardiovascular risk factors. As more mHealth apps are evaluated in RCTs, patients will be able to select apps that meet their needs and physicians will be able to make evidence-based recommendations to their patients for apps aimed at improving cardiovascular health.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04528654; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04528654.<h4>International registered report identifier (irrid)</h4>PRR1-10.2196/26155.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the prevalence of mobile health (mHealth) technologies and observations of their impacts on patients' health, there is still no consensus on how best to evaluate these tools for patient self-management of chronic conditions. Researchers currently do not have guidelines on which qualitative or quantitative factors to measure or how to gather these reliable data. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to document the methods and both qualitative and quantitative measures used to assess mHealth apps and systems intended for use by patients for the self-management of chronic noncommunicable diseases. METHODS:A scoping review was performed, and PubMed, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and ProQuest Research Library were searched for literature published in English between January 1, 2015, and January 18, 2019. Search terms included combinations of the description of the intention of the intervention (eg, self-efficacy and self-management) and description of the intervention platform (eg, mobile app and sensor). Article selection was based on whether the intervention described a patient with a chronic noncommunicable disease as the primary user of a tool or system that would always be available for self-management. The extracted data included study design, health conditions, participants, intervention type (app or system), methods used, and measured qualitative and quantitative data. RESULTS:A total of 31 studies met the eligibility criteria. Studies were classified as either those that evaluated mHealth apps (ie, single devices; n=15) or mHealth systems (ie, more than one tool; n=17), and one study evaluated both apps and systems. App interventions mainly targeted mental health conditions (including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), followed by diabetes and cardiovascular and heart diseases; among the 17 studies that described mHealth systems, most involved patients diagnosed with cardiovascular and heart disease, followed by diabetes, respiratory disease, mental health conditions, cancer, and multiple illnesses. The most common evaluation method was collection of usage logs (n=21), followed by standardized questionnaires (n=18) and ad-hoc questionnaires (n=13). The most common measure was app interaction (n=19), followed by usability/feasibility (n=17) and patient-reported health data via the app (n=15). CONCLUSIONS:This review demonstrates that health intervention studies are taking advantage of the additional resources that mHealth technologies provide. As mHealth technologies become more prevalent, the call for evidence includes the impacts on patients' self-efficacy and engagement, in addition to traditional measures. However, considering the unstructured data forms, diverse use, and various platforms of mHealth, it can be challenging to select the right methods and measures to evaluate mHealth technologies. The inclusion of app usage logs, patient-involved methods, and other approaches to determine the impact of mHealth is an important step forward in health intervention research. We hope that this overview will become a catalogue of the possible ways in which mHealth has been and can be integrated into research practice.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Mobile health (mHealth) interventions may help adolescents adopt healthy lifestyles. However, attrition in these interventions is high. Overall, there is a lack of research on nonusage attrition in adolescents, particularly regarding the role of socioeconomic status (SES).<h4>Objective</h4>The aim of this study was to focus on the role of SES in the following three research questions (RQs): When do adolescents stop using an mHealth intervention (RQ1)? Why do they report nonusage attrition (RQ2)? Which intervention components (ie, self-regulation component, narrative, and chatbot) prevent nonusage attrition among adolescents (RQ3)?<h4>Methods</h4>A total of 186 Flemish adolescents (aged 12-15 years) participated in a 12-week mHealth program. Log data were monitored to measure nonusage attrition and usage duration for the 3 intervention components. A web-based questionnaire was administered to assess reasons for attrition. A survival analysis was conducted to estimate the time to attrition and determine whether this differed according to SES (RQ1). Descriptive statistics were performed to map the attrition reasons, and Fisher exact tests were used to determine if these reasons differed depending on the educational track (RQ2). Mixed effects Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate the associations between the use duration of the 3 components during the first week and attrition. An interaction term was added to the regression models to determine whether associations differed by the educational track (RQ3).<h4>Results</h4>After 12 weeks, 95.7% (178/186) of the participants stopped using the app. 30.1% (56/186) of the adolescents only opened the app on the installation day, and 44.1% (82/186) stopped using the app in the first week. Attrition at any given time during the intervention period was higher for adolescents from the nonacademic educational track compared with those from the academic track. The other SES indicators (family affluence and perceived financial situation) did not explain attrition. The most common reasons for nonusage attrition among participants were perceiving that the app did not lead to behavior change, not liking the app, thinking that they already had a sufficiently healthy lifestyle, using other apps, and not being motivated by the environment. Attrition reasons did not differ depending on the educational track. More time spent in the self-regulation and narrative components during the first week was associated with lower attrition, whereas chatbot use duration was not associated with attrition rates. No moderating effects of SES were observed in the latter association.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Nonusage attrition was high, especially among adolescents in the nonacademic educational track. The reported reasons for attrition were diverse, with no statistical differences according to the educational level. The duration of the use of the self-regulation and narrative components during the first week may prevent attrition for both educational tracks.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04719858; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04719858.