School of Medical and Health Sciences
Telethon Perth Children’s Hospital Research Fund / Joondalup Health Campus / Paul Ramsay Foundation / Commonwealth Government of Australia / Channel 7 Telethon Trust / Telethon Kids Institute
Background: Positive maternal mental health during the perinatal period contributes to general well-being and positive emotional bonds with the child, encouraging an optimal developmental trajectory. Online interventions to enhance maternal well-being and develop coping skills, such as meditation-based interventions, can be a low-cost way to improve mother and child outcomes. However, this depends on end-user engagement. To date, there is limited evidence about women’s willingness to engage and preferences for online programmes. Objectives: This study explored pregnant women’s attitudes towards and likelihood to undertake minimal online well-being training programmes (mindfulness, self-compassion, or general relaxation), engagement barriers and enablers, and programme structure preferences. Design: A mixed methods triangulation design was undertaken using a validating quantitative model. Quantile regressions were applied to the quantitative data. Content analysis was undertaken for the qualitative data. Methods: Consenting pregnant women (n = 151) were randomized equally to read about three online programme types. Participants were sent an information leaflet, tested by a consumer panel prior to distribution. Results: Participants generally held positive attitudes about all three types of interventions, with no statistically significant differences in preferences between programme types. Participants appreciated the importance of mental health and were receptive to fostering skills to support their emotional well-being and stress management. The most frequent perceived barriers were lack of time, tiredness, and forgetfulness. Programme structure preferences indicated one to two modules per week, less than 15 min in duration, and over 4 weeks. Programme functionality, such as regular reminders and easy accessibility, is important to end users. Conclusion: Our findings reinforce the importance of determining participant preferences in designing and communicating engaging interventions for perinatal women. This research contributes to the understanding of population-based interventions that can be provided as simple, scalable, cost-effective, and home-based activities in pregnancy for the benefit of individuals, their families, and society more broadly.
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