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Black Women are Open to Mental Health Services Via Mobile Technology

Article Excerpt: Using survey data on patient attitudes toward mental health services and depression screening, a new study indicated that Black American Women are comfortable with using voice or video calls to communicate with mental health providers. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that about one in ten women in the United States have experienced depression symptoms within the last year. The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), also indicated that Black American women are commonly affected by depression. While discrimination, financial issues, and chronic conditions may contribute to this, various factors prevent Black women from obtaining care. These may include stigmatization, limited access, or insurance complications.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


Women’s Telehealth Program Diminishes Stigma via Technology

Article Excerpt: The Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center in Charleston has a unique telemedicine program in place to help pregnant and postpartum women. The program is called Listening to Women and Pregnant and Postpartum People, or LTWP. The technology vendors are REDCap and Twillio. It’s a mid-maturity program that is responding to behavioral health needs of pregnant women, and has recently expanded to newborn virtual home visitation for all mothers with births in the hospital.

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Article Source: Healthcare IT News


A Mobile Intervention to Link Young Female Entertainment Workers in Cambodia to Health and Gender-Based Violence Services: Randomized Controlled Trial

Brody C, Chhoun P, Tuot S, Fehrenbacher A, Moran A, Swendeman D, Yi S. A Mobile Intervention to Link Young Female Entertainment Workers in Cambodia to Health and Gender-Based Violence Services: Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(1):e27696 DOI: 10.2196/27696

This study evaluated the efficacy of the Mobile Link intervention to improve female entertainment workers’ (FEW) health through engagement and connection to HIV, sexual and reproductive health, and gender-based violence services. In Cambodia, FEWs are employed at karaoke bars, restaurants, bars, and massage parlors and many exchange sex to supplement their income. Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in the capital city and 3 other regions in Cambodia with high numbers of FEWs and HIV prevalence. Eligible participants were aged 18-30 years, working as a FEW, sexually active, and owned a mobile phone. Participants were randomized to the Mobile Link intervention arm (n=218) or to the control arm (standard care; n=170). For 60 weeks, participants in the Mobile Link arm received automated twice-weekly text messages and voice messages with health information and direct links to community outreach workers. Outcomes included self-reported HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, condom use, and contraceptive use at baseline and 6- and 12-month follow up. Results showed significant improvements in HIV and STI testing, condom use, and contraceptive use in both arms. The Mobile Link intervention was effective in connecting FEWs with outreach workers – contact increased by 61% in the intervention arm compared to a decrease of 30% in the control arm. Additionally, participants in the intervention arm reported significant reductions in forced drinking behavior at work from supervisors or peers compared to those in the control arm. Although there were no differences in the main outcomes, the Mobile Link intervention may be helpful in linking to outreach workers and could be potentially implemented among other populations in Cambodia, perhaps as an adjunct to standard care. Future research may consider using longer-term messaging to increase access to services and impact health outcomes.


Building Strong Futures: The Feasibility of Using a Targeted Digital Media Campaign to Improve Knowledge About Pregnancy and Low Birthweight Among Black Women

Bonnevie E, Rosenberg SD, Goldbarg J, Ashley-West A, & Smyser J. (2021). Building Strong Futures: The Feasibility of Using a Targeted Digital Media Campaign to Improve Knowledge About Pregnancy and Low Birthweight Among Black Women. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 25(1), 127–135.

This article reports the campaign methods for a digital intervention targeting Black women in one Florida county to promote positive pregnancy-related knowledge and attitudes related to low birthweight. The Strong Beautiful Future campaign was tailored toward Black women around a reproductive empowerment lens. Content focused on emphasizing healthy pregnancy-related behaviors (prenatal care, nutrition, weight gain, and birthweight) and creating positive representations of Black women throughout the pregnancy stages, using images and videos. Content was posted 5-7 times each week on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for 2 years and digital ads and local social media influencers were used to promote the campaign. Researchers measured campaign engagement through digital metrics. After two years of campaign implementation, social media accounts had 1784 total followers, with most on Facebook (n=920). In the two years, on a monthly average, Facebook had the highest number of times the content was displayed, but Instagram showed highest level of engagement (number of likes, comments, shares, views and clicks). Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted online over the study period to examine Black women’s pregnancy-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Findings showed a non-significant increase in knowledge about prenatal care, weight gain, exercise, and health impacts of low birthweight. Overall, this study highlights how a targeted digital campaign to providing health information is feasible in reaching Black women in targeted locations.


Three STEM Stories Still Unfolding

Article Excerpt: Honorees share their STEM journeys and their common belief that future generations of women are going to do great things. Grace Coughlin doesn’t report to the typical high schooler part-time job. The Hanover High senior has spent the past year working as a researcher with Dartmouth College… Coughlin’s responsibilities at Dartmouth are at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, where she has had the opportunity to work with a role model in Dr. Lisa Marsch, the center’s director. Her area of research is working to support specific innovations and technologies that will help in understanding and providing solutions in the mental health field.

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Article Source: Union Leader


Predicting the Next-Day Perceived and Physiological Stress of Pregnant Women by Using Machine Learning and Explainability: Algorithm Development and Validation

Ng A, Wei B, Jain J, Ward E, Tandon S, Moskowitz J, Krogh-Jespersen S, Wakschlag L, Alshurafa N. Predicting the Next-Day Perceived and Physiological Stress of Pregnant Women by Using Machine Learning and Explainability: Algorithm Development and Validation. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2022;10(8):e33850. DOI: 10.2196/33850

This study aimed to develop and evaluate a machine learning model to predict next-day physiological and prenatal stress by collecting sensor heart rate data and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) questionnaires. This study applied an explainability model for the prediction results. A total of 16 adult pregnant women from an obstetrics and gynecology clinic were enrolled in the study. Participants received a 12-week cognitive behavioral therapy intervention and wore a mobile electrocardiography (heart rate) sensor for 12 weeks. Participants completed EMAs for perceived stress on their mobile phones 5 times a day for 12 weeks. In total, about 4000 hours of data were collected and participants completed 2800 EMAs. Researchers used these data to train and evaluate 6 different machine learning models to select the best performing model for predicting next-day physiological and perceived stress. The random forest classifier performed the best for both physiological and perceived stress, with an average F1 score (a commonly used evaluation metric) of 81.9% and 72.5%, respectively. Two features significantly predicted both physiological and perceived stress: feeling unable to overcome difficulties and participants’ number of children. Results demonstrated that a machine learning model can predict next-day physiological and perceived stress among pregnant women. Future studies should validate the model with a larger sample size.


Feedback on Instagram posts for a gestational weight gain intervention

Waring ME, Pagoto SL, Moore Simas TA, Heersping G, Rudin LR, Arcangel K. Feedback on Instagram posts for a gestational weight gain intervention [published correction appears in Transl Behav Med. 2022 Apr 22;:]. Transl Behav Med. 2022;12(4):568-575. doi:10.1093/tbm/ibac001

Researchers evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a private Instagram group and lifestyle intervention posts focused on healthy gestational weight gain. A study was conducted with pregnant women with pre-pregnancy overweight or obesity who use Instagram regularly. Eleven participants each created a private Instagram account and followed the other participants’ accounts and a moderator. The moderator, a registered dietitian, uploaded posts twice a day for 2 weeks about physical activity, healthy eating, goal setting and progress reports during pregnancy. Participants were encouraged to check the group daily and engage by liking, replying to comments, and posting their own photos. After the 2-week intervention, participants completed an online survey on acceptability of the Instagram posts developed by the researchers and participated in virtual focus group interviews via Webex. User engagement data was collected from Instagram. The results indicated all participants followed the moderator’s account and engaged with all study posts. Most participants (82%) reported feeling comfortable sharing in the group and 73% would participate in a similar group in the future. A majority of participants found the posts visually attractive and indicated that the posts provided helpful information. However, participants preferred more personalized content and felt hesitant to post their own photos because they did not feel their photos were high-quality and positive enough. Overall, the study demonstrated that creating a private Instagram group for delivery of a dietary and fitness intervention is feasible. Findings can inform next steps in development and future research developing Instagram-delivered interventions for other health behaviors or conditions.


A digital health registry with clinical decision support for improving quality of antenatal care in Palestine (eRegQual): a pragmatic, cluster-randomised, controlled, superiority trial

Venkateswaran M, Ghanem B, Abbas E, Khader KA, Ward IA, Awwad T, Baniode M, Frost MJ, Hijaz T, Isbeih M, Mørkrid K, Rose CJ, & Frøen JF. (2022). A digital health registry with clinical decision support for improving quality of antenatal care in Palestine (eRegQual): a pragmatic, cluster-randomised, controlled, superiority trial. The Lancet. Digital Health, 4(2), e126–e136.

The public health system in Palestine implemented a digital maternal and child health eRegistry with clinical decision support. Researchers compared the quality of antenatal care between primary care clinics with eRegistry and those with paper-based records. The study is a cluster-randomized controlled trial in primary health care clinics that provide antenatal care in the West Bank, Palestine. Fifty-nine clusters were randomly assigned to the control (paper-based records) group and 60 clusters to the intervention (eRegistry with clinical decision support) group. Researchers looked at the effectiveness of the eRegistry system in improving the provision of timely and appropriate screening and management in routine antenatal care, and health outcomes at delivery for mothers and newborns. Between January to September 2017, 3217 pregnant women and 3148 pregnant women received care in the intervention and control clinics respectively. The results found women were more often screened for risk factors and referred to high-risk clinics in intervention clinics (17.6%) compared to control clinics (12.6%). Compared to the control group, pregnant women were more often screened and managed for anemia, gestational diabetes, and hypertension in the intervention group than in the control group (adjusted ORs from 1.45 to 1.88). Only 9.4% of pregnant women attended the full schedule of routine antenatal care across both groups. There were no differences in fetal growth monitoring, antenatal care attendance, or adverse outcomes at delivery in the control and intervention groups. Overall, the improvements in most process outcomes strengthen the evidence of digital client tracking in lower-middle income settings and digital interventions can facilitate better coverage of antenatal care.


Patient-Focused Technology Improving Women’s Healthcare

Article Excerpt: One of the most significant advances in patient-focused technology has been the advent of telehealth technologies. From the proliferation of wearable devices that allow round-the-clock patient monitoring to the rise in telemedicine, offering on-demand virtual consultations with healthcare providers, patients have greater access than ever before to the care, and the caregivers, they need. For women, this increased access to care through remote health technologies has profound implications for their overall quality of care. First, studies have shown that women are at significantly higher risk of being misdiagnosed or of failing to receive a timely diagnosis due to unconscious gender biases and the general lack of training in women’s health. With the dawn of wearable health tech and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) systems into the care regimen, women are receiving faster and more accurate diagnoses than they would likely have been given in a brief clinical encounter.

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Article Source: Innovation & Tech Today