A bespoke mobile application for the longitudinal assessment of depression and mood during pregnancy: protocol of a feasibility study

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Title: A bespoke mobile application for the longitudinal assessment of depression and mood during pregnancy: protocol of a feasibility study
Authors: Marcano Belisario, JS
Doherty, K
O'Donoghue, J
Ramchandani, P
Majeed, A
Doherty, G
Morrison, C
Car, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Introduciton: Depression is a common mental health disorders during pregnancy, with important consequences for mothers and their children. Despite this, it goes undiagnosed and untreated in many women attending antenatal care. Smartphones could help support the prompt dentification of antenatal depression in this setting. In addition, these devices enable the implementation of ecological momentary assessment techniques, which could be used to assess how mood is experienced during pregnancy. With this study, we will assess the feasibility of using a bespoke mobile application running on participants’ own handsets for the longitudinal (6 months) monitoring of antenatal mood and screening of depression. Methods and analysis: We will use a randomised controlled study design to compare two types of assessment strategies: retrospective + momentary (consisting of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale plus 5 momentary and 2 contextual questions), and retrospective (consisting of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale only). We will assess the impact that these strategies have on participant adherence to a pre-specified sampling protocol, drop-out rates and timeliness of data completion. We will evaluate differences in acceptance of the technology through a short quantitative survey and open ended questions. We will also assess the potential effect that momentary assessments could have on retrospective data. We will attempt to identify any patterns in app usage through the analysis of log data. Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by the South East Coast – Surrey Research Ethics Committee. Our findings will be disseminated through academic peer-reviewed publications, conferences and discussion with peers. Registration details: This study has been registered in under the identifier NCT02516982. STRENGTHS OF THIS STUDY: This study will explore: (i) the role of mobile technology as a medium to address some of the practical barriers preventing depression screening in antenatal settings; (ii) how mood and depression are experienced throughout pregnancy (using momentary, experiential and ecological data); and ( iii) two critical success factors for the successful deployment of mobile technology in pregnancy: user engagement and adherence to a proposed sampling protocol • This study will provide baseline information regard ing the appropriateness of a sampling protocol (in terms of its duration, intensity and frequency) for the monitoring of mood and screening of depression during the antenatal period • The technology used in this study has been specific ally designed and developed to fit within the clinical context and the local care path ways in which it will be deployed LIMITATIONS OF THIS STUDY: • This study focuses on mood and antenatal depression. It does not consider other common mental health disorders that occur during pr egnancy, or the presence of potential triggers or risk factors (for example, do mestic violence) • The mood-related momentary questions used in this study have not been validated • This study relies on self-report measures. Research is being conducted to explore how smartphone and app usage data could be used to unobtrusively identify low mood and depression in the general population
Issue Date: 29-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 15-Mar-2017
ISSN: 2044-6055
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: BMJ Open
Volume: 7
Copyright Statement: © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:
Sponsor/Funder: National Institute for Health Research
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust- BRC Funding
Funder's Grant Number: RDC01 79560
RDC02 79560
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
Antenatal care
Depression & mood disorders < PSYCHIATRY
Ecological momentary assessment
Mobile apps
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: e014469
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care

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