In the JournalsPerspective

App increases depression screenings in pregnant women

Incorporating a smartphone app into an OB-GYN practice increased the number of depression screenings and improved early identification and treatment for the condition, according to a report in Annals of Family Medicine.

“People are less likely to disclose behavioral health symptoms in a face-to-face setting than in a self-report or electronic media,” Sarah Ricketts, MD, medical director of behavioral health integration and rehabilitation management at Montefiore Care Management Organization, explained to Healio Primary Care.

She and her colleagues developed HealthyMoms, an app that screened for depression, substance use and social determinants of health in between brief articles about pregnancy, fetal development and wellness and with a bidirectional chat feature. The app was provided to 100 women who were pregnant less than 28 weeks.

Ricketts noted that the participation level was a pleasant surprise.

“I had expected maybe 25% or 30% interest and we had over double that. A number of women reported how helpful they found the medical information, which was written in consumer-friendly language,” she said in the interview.

 
Incorporating a smartphone app into an OB-GYN practice increased the number of depression screenings and improved early identification and treatment for the condition, according to a report in Annals of Family Medicine.

Source:Adobe

Researchers reported that 54% of participants completed PHQ-8 depression screening. Of those, 10% scored 10 or higher, which they wrote was consistent with prospective research studies. In addition, 46% of participants completed the social determinants of health/substance abuse screenings.

Patients with positive screenings were referred to the appropriate services, Ricketts and colleagues wrote in Annals. – by Janel Miller

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

Incorporating a smartphone app into an OB-GYN practice increased the number of depression screenings and improved early identification and treatment for the condition, according to a report in Annals of Family Medicine.

“People are less likely to disclose behavioral health symptoms in a face-to-face setting than in a self-report or electronic media,” Sarah Ricketts, MD, medical director of behavioral health integration and rehabilitation management at Montefiore Care Management Organization, explained to Healio Primary Care.

She and her colleagues developed HealthyMoms, an app that screened for depression, substance use and social determinants of health in between brief articles about pregnancy, fetal development and wellness and with a bidirectional chat feature. The app was provided to 100 women who were pregnant less than 28 weeks.

Ricketts noted that the participation level was a pleasant surprise.

“I had expected maybe 25% or 30% interest and we had over double that. A number of women reported how helpful they found the medical information, which was written in consumer-friendly language,” she said in the interview.

 
Incorporating a smartphone app into an OB-GYN practice increased the number of depression screenings and improved early identification and treatment for the condition, according to a report in Annals of Family Medicine.

Source:Adobe

Researchers reported that 54% of participants completed PHQ-8 depression screening. Of those, 10% scored 10 or higher, which they wrote was consistent with prospective research studies. In addition, 46% of participants completed the social determinants of health/substance abuse screenings.

Patients with positive screenings were referred to the appropriate services, Ricketts and colleagues wrote in Annals. – by Janel Miller

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

    Perspective
    Maria Muzik

    Maria Muzik

    Depression in pregnancy is a major health concern, but a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed that only half the women presenting to prenatal care are screened for depression, and that even women who are screened are not always identified at risk for the condition. Therefore, the use of technology — for example an app — that can identify depressed pregnant women in real time is highly beneficial.

    We at Michigan Medicine-Psychiatry, in collaboration with colleagues from Wayne State University, also have researched the benefit of a depression screening app in prenatal care. Pregnant women, while in the waiting area of their prenatal clinic, are handed an electronic tablet with the app. The app asks a series of questions about mental health and well-being, then provides tailored messages to the patient to promote engagement in seeking healthy behaviors and, if at risk, treatment. The nurse and physician receive in real time a user-friendly report of the patient’s responses and she is tended to in a faster manner. This immediate feedback to the patient and her providers while still in the clinic enhances the success rate with treatment seeking and follow through.

    • Maria Muzik, MD, MS
    • Associate professor
      departments of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology Co-Director, Zero-To-Thrive
      Women and Infant Mental Health Program Medical Director
      Perinatal Psychiatry Clinic
      Michigan Medicine

    Disclosures: Muzik reports receiving grant funding from the NIH, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Health Endowment Fund Michigan.