Online Program

Staff Attitudes towards using mobile health technology to screen participants for perinatal depression in a Public Health Clinic

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Maria Pineros-Leano, MSW, MPH, PhD Candidate, School of Social Work, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Karen Tabb, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Heather Sears, School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Brandon Meline, MS, RD, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Champaign, IL
Hsiang Huang, MD, MPH, Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Background: The use of mobile health technology has become an innovative approach to screen for depressive symptoms in clinical settings. Studies find the incorporation of this technology into clinics helps alleviate barriers related to literacy, privacy, or language and is acceptable among patients of different age groups. However, there is a dearth of research on the perceptions that healthcare providers have on using technology to screen women for perinatal depression in maternal health clinics.

Methods: Four focus groups were conducted with maternal health providers (n=25) using a semi-structured interview guide designed to capture perceptions on perinatal depression screening with mobile technology in clinic settings. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used to analyze all focus group data.

Results: Three major benefits and two major barriers were identified. The benefits of introducing mobile health included: reduction of redundancy and errors, reduction of literacy and language barriers, and increased privacy for mothers. In terms of barriers identified; these included: increased network issues and responsibility for technology. One of the major concerns around implementing mobile health technology included fear of devices being lost, broken, or stolen.

Implications: Overall, staff members felt that the implementation of mobile health technology could have potential benefits for the clients; however, before implementation takes place, it is important to address staff’s concerns and they also need to gain comfort in using the technology. By addressing their concerns and offering training, the implementation phase of might be welcomed by staff members.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe health care providers’ perceptions on the implementation of tablet technology in the health care setting. Discuss the benefits and barriers of mobile health technology for depression screening in public health clinics. Discuss the ways in which staff members’ fears can be addressed before the implementation phase takes place.

Keyword(s): Depression, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research assistant and I have been working on this project for the past two years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.