UBC Faculty Research and Publications

mHealth and Perinatal Depression in Low-and Middle-Income Countries: A Scoping Review of the Literature Dosani, Aliyah; Arora, Harshmeet; Mazmudar, Sahil


Women in low- and middle-income countries have high rates of perinatal depression. As smartphones become increasingly accessible around the world, there is an opportunity to explore innovative mHealth tools for the prevention, screening, and management of perinatal depression. We completed a scoping review of the literature pertaining to the use of mobile phone technologies for perinatal depression in low-and middle-income countries. PubMed CINHAL, and Google Scholar databases were searched, generating 423 results. 12 articles met our inclusion criteria. Two of the 12 articles reviewed mobile phone applications. The remaining 9 articles were study protocols or descriptive/intervention studies. Our results reveal that minimal literature is currently available on the use of mobile health for perinatal depression in low- and middle-income countries. We found four articles that present the results of an intervention that were delivered through mobile phones for the treatment of perinatal depressive symptoms and an additional qualitative study describing the perceptions of mothers receiving cognitive behavioral therapy via telephones. These studies demonstrated that depressive symptoms improved after the interventions. There is potential to improve the quality of mHealth interventions, specifically mobile phone applications for perinatal depressive symptoms and depression, through meaningful collaborative work between healthcare professionals and application developers.

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