Psychiatr Serv 2018 01 16;69(1):104-107. Epub 2017 Oct 16.
Dr. Hantsoo, Ms. Criniti, and Dr. Epperson are with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Ms. Khan is with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Ms. Moseley is with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, both at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Ms. Kincler is with Ginger.io, San Francisco. Dr. Faherty is with the RAND Corporation, Boston. Dr. Bennett is with the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.
Objective: This study tested whether a mood tracking and alert (MTA) mobile application (app) improved mental health care delivery in a high-risk obstetric population.
Methods: Pregnant women with depressive symptomatology at <32 weeks gestation were followed for eight weeks after randomization to a control patient portal (PP) app alone or with the MTA app. The MTA app monitored activity, assessed mood, and alerted obstetric providers of signs of worsening mood.
Results: Seventy-two women enrolled (PP, N=24; MTA, N=48). MTA users had significantly more contacts addressing mental health, and as gestational age increased, they rated ability to manage their own health significantly better than women in the control group. Women who received telephone contact from a provider triggered by an MTA app alert were significantly more likely to receive a mental health specialist referral.
Conclusions: A mobile MTA app improved service delivery and patient engagement among patients with perinatal depression symptoms.