Sensing technology to personalize adolescent maternal depression treatment in low resource settings (StandStrong)

Background: Nepal exemplifies the burden of poor maternal mental health with suicide being the leading single cause of maternal mortality. In rural areas, 85% of suicides below the age of 25 years occur among women. Early detection and management of psychological distress is imperative to improve both the mother’s wellbeing and child’s development however, this is very uncommon in Nepal. We used three mobile phone based technologies- a) proximity beacon- to quantify regularity of time of the mother with her child and the mix of time with and away from the child, b) audio recorder to monitor mother-child verbal engagement and c) GPS to track mobility of the mother. Data from these devices helped to identify healthy and risky maternal behavior that can be associated with maternal depression, which was then shared with the mothers and health workers. Health workers then used the data to provide personalized psychological intervention to young mothers.

Objectives:

  1. To test feasibility and acceptability of the mobile phone based technologies to identify healthy and risk behaviors
  2. To assess utility of data from mobile phone based technologies to provide personalized psychological intervention to young mothers.

Target group: Adolescent (15-25 years) mothers with child less than a year

Implementation area: Chitwan district

Time frame: May 2018 – November 2019

Supported by: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Partners: George Washington University (GWU)

Blog:

  1. Using technology to detect maternal depression
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