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Open AccessArticle

mHealth Apps Assessment among Postpartum Women with Obesity and Depression

Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
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Healthcare 2020, 8(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020072 (registering DOI)
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 18 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Assessments)
Background: Pregnancy has become the main constituent for women to become overweight or obese during the postpartum phase. This could lead women to suffer from postpartum depression as well. Information technology (IT) has become more prevalent in the healthcare industry. It offers patients the opportunity to manage their health conditions via the use of several applications, one being the mHealth applications. Objective: The main purpose of this study is to experiment and understand the effects the mHealth applications (i.e., fitness and nutrition applications) have on the body mass index (BMI) and depression levels amongst postpartum women. Methods: Online questionnaires were sent to postpartum women within one year after their pregnancy, of which 819 completed questionnaires were returned. The frequency of the mHealth applications usage was categorized into daily, weekly, rarely and never streams. Therefore, the frequency of use of the mHealth applications for BMI and depression levels was analyzed based on the available statistical data. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and Dunnet tests were applied to analyze the experimental data. Results: Out of 819 respondents, 37.9% and 42.1% of them were overweight and obese, respectively. Almost 32.9% of the respondents were likely depressed, and 45.6% were at an increased risk. This study reports that only 23.4% and 28.6% of respondents never used the fitness and nutrition applications. The impact of the frequency of using the fitness applications on BMI and depression levels was obvious. This means that with the increased use of the fitness applications, there was also a significant effect in maintaining and decreasing the BMI and depression levels amongst Malaysians postpartum women. However, from the data of weekly and daily use of fitness applications, we found that the contribution toward the BMI and depression levels was high (p = 0.000). However, nutrition applications amongst the users were not significant within the main variables (p > 0.05). From the Dunnet test, the significance of using the fitness applications within the depression levels started from daily usage, whereas for BMI, it started from weekly usage. Conclusion: The efficiency of the fitness applications toward the BMI and depression levels has been proven in this research work. While nutrition applications did not affect the BMI and depression levels, some of the respondents were still categorized as weekly and daily users. Thus, the improvements in BMI and depression levels are associated with the types of mHealth app that had been used.
Keywords: mHealth apps; postpartum obesity; postpartum depression; health assessment mHealth apps; postpartum obesity; postpartum depression; health assessment
MDPI and ACS Style

Bt Wan Mohamed Radzi, C.W.J.; Salarzadeh Jenatabadi, H.; Samsudin, N. mHealth Apps Assessment among Postpartum Women with Obesity and Depression. Healthcare 2020, 8, 72.

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