Portsmouth Researcher's App To Help Post-Natal Depression

31 July 2018, 09:23

Omobolanle Omisade Portsmouth Uni

A mobile app's been designed by a Portsmouth Uni researcher, to help women with their post-natal depression treatment.

It's after Bola Omisade discovered a large number of new mums are struggling to stay on track and created 'Above Postnatal Depression'

Bola said: 

"Often women with postnatal depression are managing a combination of medications and therapies. Despite really wanting to feel better, they have a new baby to care for, and are dealing with the symptoms of postnatal depression, which can include low mood, lack of energy and loss of interest in the world around you. It's easy to see why keeping appointments and remembering to follow prescription advice can become a challenge.

"I designed the app as a persistent buddy for women who have problems managing their adherence behaviour and perhaps do not achieve their desired treatment outcome."

Previous studies report that approximately 13 per cent of women having babies suffer from postnatal depression (PND) with about 70,000 experiencing symptoms in the UK each year. PND can affect the way a woman feels about herself and her interpersonal relationships.

The condition can also lead to serious consequences for the infant, including lower progression weight, impaired mental and emotional development, higher frequency of hospital admissions and long-term behavioural problems.

The idea of the app is to help women manage the use of multiple treatments and keep track of their progress. Features include a "Get Help" button that allows the user to tap and instigate a request for support from a designated person.

Bola said: 

"Sometimes a woman might need to speak to a friend or family member but it can take a lot of effort to pick up the phone and ask for help. It's not an easy thing to do when you're worrying that people might be busy and you feel incredibly low anyway. This feature allows the patient to make contact with a person who has already agreed to offer support. All they have to do is click a button and that person is aware they need help."

Other features include information about PND, treatment reminders, the opportunity to add special treatment instructions and a diary feature for managing symptoms.