Background: Digital interventions are gaining increasing interest due to their structured nature, ready availability, and self-administered capabilities. Perinatal women have expressed a desire for such interventions. In this regard, behavioral activation interventions may be particularly suitable for digital administration. Objective: This study aims to exploratorily investigate and compare the feasibility of the internet-based self-help guided versus unguided version of the Brief Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression-Revised, an empirically supported in-person behavioral activation protocol, targeting pregnant women with subclinical depression symptoms. A user-centered design is used, whereby data are collected with the intent of evaluating how to adjust the intervention in line with pregnant women's needs. Usability and user engagement were evaluated. Methods: A total of 11 Italian pregnant women with subclinical depressive symptoms based on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (scoring<15) participated in this study; of them, 6 (55%) women were randomly assigned to the guided group (age: mean 32.17, SD 4.36 years) and 5 (45%) to the unguided group (age: mean 31, SD 4.95 years). The Moodle platform was used to deliver the interventions in an e-learning format. It consisted of 6 core modules and 3 optional modules; the latter aimed at revising the content of the former. In the guided group, each woman had weekly chats with their assigned human guide to support them in the homework revisions. The intervention content included text, pictures, and videos. Semistructured interviews were conducted, and descriptive statistics were analyzed. Results: Collectively, the data suggest that the guided intervention was better accepted than the unguided one. However, the high rates of dropout (at T6: guided group: 3/6, 50%; unguided: 4/5, 80%) suggest that a digital replica of Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression-Revised may not be feasible in an e-learning format. The reduced usability of the platform used was reported, and homework was perceived as too time-consuming and effort-intensive. Moreover, the 6 core modules were deemed sufficient for the intervention's goals, suggesting that the 3 optional modules could be eliminated. Nevertheless, participants from both groups expressed satisfaction with the content and found it relevant to their pregnancy experiences. Conclusions: Overall, the findings have emphasized both the intervention's merits and shortcomings. Results highlight the unsuitability of replicating an in-person protocol digitally as well as of the use of nonprofessional tools for the implementation of self-help interventions, ultimately making the intervention not feasible. Pregnant women have nonetheless expressed a desire to receive psychological support and commented on the possibilities of digital psychosocial supports, particularly those that are app-based. The information collected and the issues identified here are important to guide the development and co-design of a more refined platform for the intervention deployment and to tailor the intervention's content to pregnant women's needs.

A Digital Behavioral Activation Intervention (JuNEX) for Pregnant Women With Subclinical Depression Symptoms: Explorative Co-Design Study

Mancinelli, Elisa
;
Gabrielli, Silvia;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Background: Digital interventions are gaining increasing interest due to their structured nature, ready availability, and self-administered capabilities. Perinatal women have expressed a desire for such interventions. In this regard, behavioral activation interventions may be particularly suitable for digital administration. Objective: This study aims to exploratorily investigate and compare the feasibility of the internet-based self-help guided versus unguided version of the Brief Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression-Revised, an empirically supported in-person behavioral activation protocol, targeting pregnant women with subclinical depression symptoms. A user-centered design is used, whereby data are collected with the intent of evaluating how to adjust the intervention in line with pregnant women's needs. Usability and user engagement were evaluated. Methods: A total of 11 Italian pregnant women with subclinical depressive symptoms based on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (scoring<15) participated in this study; of them, 6 (55%) women were randomly assigned to the guided group (age: mean 32.17, SD 4.36 years) and 5 (45%) to the unguided group (age: mean 31, SD 4.95 years). The Moodle platform was used to deliver the interventions in an e-learning format. It consisted of 6 core modules and 3 optional modules; the latter aimed at revising the content of the former. In the guided group, each woman had weekly chats with their assigned human guide to support them in the homework revisions. The intervention content included text, pictures, and videos. Semistructured interviews were conducted, and descriptive statistics were analyzed. Results: Collectively, the data suggest that the guided intervention was better accepted than the unguided one. However, the high rates of dropout (at T6: guided group: 3/6, 50%; unguided: 4/5, 80%) suggest that a digital replica of Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression-Revised may not be feasible in an e-learning format. The reduced usability of the platform used was reported, and homework was perceived as too time-consuming and effort-intensive. Moreover, the 6 core modules were deemed sufficient for the intervention's goals, suggesting that the 3 optional modules could be eliminated. Nevertheless, participants from both groups expressed satisfaction with the content and found it relevant to their pregnancy experiences. Conclusions: Overall, the findings have emphasized both the intervention's merits and shortcomings. Results highlight the unsuitability of replicating an in-person protocol digitally as well as of the use of nonprofessional tools for the implementation of self-help interventions, ultimately making the intervention not feasible. Pregnant women have nonetheless expressed a desire to receive psychological support and commented on the possibilities of digital psychosocial supports, particularly those that are app-based. The information collected and the issues identified here are important to guide the development and co-design of a more refined platform for the intervention deployment and to tailor the intervention's content to pregnant women's needs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/348467
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