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A Mobile App for the Self-Report of Psychological Well-Being During Pregnancy (BrightSelf): Qualitative Design Study.

Doherty, Kevin, Barry, Marguerite, Marcano-Belisario, Jose, Arnaud, Bérenger, Morrison, Cecily, Car, Josip and Doherty, Gavin (2018) A Mobile App for the Self-Report of Psychological Well-Being During Pregnancy (BrightSelf): Qualitative Design Study. JMIR Mental Health, 5 (4).

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Maternal mental health impacts both parental well-being and childhood development. In the United Kingdom, 15% of women are affected by depression during pregnancy or within 1 year of giving birth. Suicide is a leading cause of perinatal maternal mortality, and it is estimated that >50% of perinatal depression cases go undiagnosed. Mobile technologies are potentially valuable tools for the early recognition of depressive symptoms, but complex design challenges must be addressed to enable their use in public health screening.


The aim of this study was to explore the issues and challenges surrounding the use of mobile phones for the self-report of psychological well-being during pregnancy.


This paper presents design research carried out as part of the development of BrightSelf, a mobile app for the self-report of psychological well-being during pregnancy. Design sessions were carried out with 38 participants, including pregnant women, mothers, midwives, and other health professionals. Overall, 19 hours of audio were fully transcribed and used as the basis of thematic analysis.


The study highlighted anxieties concerning the pregnancy journey, challenges surrounding current approaches to the appraisal of well-being in perinatal care, and the midwife-patient relationship. Designers should consider the framing of perinatal mental health technologies, the experience of self-report, supporting self-awareness and disclosure, providing value to users through both self-report and supplementary features, and designing for longitudinal engagement.


This study highlights the needs, motivations, and anxieties of women with respect to technology use in pregnancy and implications for the design of mobile health technologies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Authors :
Doherty, Kevin
Barry, Marguerite
Arnaud, Bérenger
Morrison, Cecily
Car, Josip
Doherty, Gavin
Date : 2018
Funders : National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
DOI : 10.2196/10007
Copyright Disclaimer : ©Kevin Doherty, Marguerite Barry, José Marcano-Belisario, Bérenger Arnaud, Cecily Morrison, Josip Car, Gavin Doherty. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health (, 27.11.2018. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Mental Health, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Engagement; Mental health; mHealth; Midwifery; Perinatal depression; Pregnancy; Self-report; Well-being; Mobile phone
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 15 Jan 2019 13:28
Last Modified : 12 Feb 2019 15:36

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