Efficacy of an electronic application to moderate symptoms of postpartum depression and improve postpartum well-being: a pilot study




Prasad, Veena


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Using a biopsychosocial framework, I examined whether an intervention of an electronic app VeedaMom, specifically designed to mitigate depression, is effective in reducing depression, improving well-being, and in providing a sense of social support. This study examined the mitigation of postpartum depressive symptoms and sense of well-being in two groups over three weeks. The first group (23 women) was provided an electronic app for iPhone called the VeedaMom app, and the second group (20 women) was provided a customized educational booklet obtained from state resources. After three weeks, the group of mothers who used the app reported a 14% decrease in symptoms of depression (p < .05 with a large effect size), suggesting that the app may have acted as a wellness companion. Women using the app also indicated an enhanced sense of social support on using the app, over women who used the educational booklet. In the same period, there was an increase in well-being in the group of mothers who were provided with the educational booklet. This increase in well-being was greater than the increase observed in women who used the app. Women in the group provided with the educational booklet had multiple support systems as opposed to women using the app who had fewer support systems, despite the perception of greater social support in the latter group. Thus, multiple support systems may have acted as a covariate in improving well-being. Amazon Analytics data for the app indicated a higher preference for use of some features like the meditation timer, videos, and action list. A health literacy survey showed that both the groups had similar health literacy numbers indicating that this experimental design used similar cross-sections of the population. Although this was a pilot study, the results provide evidence that the use of an electronic app like VeedaMom can mitigate postpartum depression.



depression, electronic app, intervention, postpartum, social support, well-being



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