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Title: Evaluation of a technology-based peer-support intervention program for preventing postnatal depression (Part 2): Qualitative study
Authors: Shorey, S. 
Ng, E.D. 
Keywords: Depression
Digital health
Online support groups
Peer support
Peer-to-peer support
Social support
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: JMIR Publications Inc.
Citation: Shorey, S., Ng, E.D. (2019). Evaluation of a technology-based peer-support intervention program for preventing postnatal depression (Part 2): Qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 21 (8) : e12915. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: Social support is known to reduce risks of postnatal depression (PND) and improve maternal emotional well-being. However, the Asian cultural context is often neglected when appraising maternal needs and mothers' preferences for social support. While many preventive efforts have experimented with technology, professionals, and paraprofessionals in providing social support to mothers in need, most studies determined the effectiveness of their interventions through quantitative measurements of maternal outcomes. Experiences and feedback from both participants and administrators are rarely discussed, especially in an Asian setting. Objective: The goal of the research was to evaluate the postnatal experiences of Asian mothers at risk of PND and the perceptions of peer volunteers regarding a technology-based peer-support intervention program (PIP). Methods: A qualitative semistructured interview was conducted with 20 Asian mothers at risk of depression (10 from the control group and 10 from the intervention group) and 19 peer volunteers from a randomized controlled trial. The PIP included weekly correspondence between peer volunteers and mothers through any telecommunication means over 4 weeks. All interviews were approximately 30 to 60 minutes long, audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Study findings were reported according to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials checklist. Results: Two overarching themes comprising five subthemes were generated: Postnatal experience (a bouncy ride, a way forward) and evaluation of the PIP (valuable, flexible, and supportive program; building blocks of a good relationship; and lessons learned and the road ahead). Mothers from both the control and interventions groups were generally satisfied with hospital care and the support received from family. They also shared similar breastfeeding challenges and needs for more informed decisions and follow-up support from the hospital. However, mothers who received the PIP tended to have more positive outlooks of their birth experiences. Overall, peer volunteers and mothers involved in the PIP found the PIP useful and expressed satisfaction with the program's flexibility. They also shared their personal takeaways, the qualities of their friendships, and the need for extended correspondence time and recommended outreach to non-at-risk mothers. Conclusions: The positive endorsement of the PIP by peer volunteers and mothers suggests the success of the PIP in maintaining positive maternal emotional well-being during the postpartum period. With the help of technology, hospitals can easily provide additional peer support to at-risk mothers in addition to existing standard care offered to these mothers. � 2019 Shefaly Shorey, Esperanza Debby Ng.
Source Title: Journal of Medical Internet Research
ISSN: 14388871
DOI: 10.2196/12915
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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