Funded R03s

R03 – Iterative (Re)Design of a Virtual Postpartum Depression Intervention with Latina Mothers

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects up to 15% of mothers in the U.S. Prevalence rates as high as 54% have been documented among Latina women, who are significantly less likely to receive postpartum mental health care. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are effective evidence-based psychosocial interventions (EBPIs) for treating PPD among ethnic populations. These interventions require consistent engagement, with benefits emerging after 12-16 weekly sessions. For Latina women, sociocultural barriers (e.g., stigma, language) compounded by structural barriers (e.g., childcare, transportation) make PPD interventions inaccessible. While telemedicine is emerging as a cost-effective option for remote mental health care, informatics interventions are not often designed for and with underserved populations.

In this pilot research, we propose to apply a human-centered design approach to (1) discover the challenges in using virtual mental health platforms to treat PPD among Latinas and (2) design a prototype that supports the virtual delivery of PPD treatment in ways that are acceptable, feasible, usable, and equitable. Qualitative interviews with new Latina mothers, clinicians, and developers of virtual mental health platforms will help us understand the design elements that would maximize the access, uptake, adherence, and effectiveness of virtual PPD treatments for the target population. Iterative design sessions will facilitate the re-design of an existing mental health application that offers real-time texting with behavioral coaches and virtual psychiatry sessions. Our goal is to design a prototype of a virtual mental health platform that meets the needs of Latina mothers and facilitates virtual implementation of EBPIs for PPD.

This study aims to design a prototype of a virtual mental health platform to facilitate implementation of evidence-based psychosocial interventions for treating postpartum depression among Latina mothers.