Barriers and Facilitators for the Use of a Medical Mobile App to Prevent Work-Related Risks in Pregnancy: A Qualitative Analysis

Adeline V. Velu, M. D.M. van Beukering, Frederieke G. Schaafsma, Monique H W Frings-Dresen, Ben Willem J. Mol, Joris A.M. Van der Post, Marjolein Kok

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The number of women participating in the labor market in Europe has increased over the last several decades. At the same time, there is growing evidence that certain conditions of employment during pregnancy may have a negative influence on pregnancy outcomes. In order to better inform pregnant women, we aim to develop an app to help assess the health risk as a result of personal and work-related factors and provide personal advice for these women and their health care providers.
The aim of this study was to compose a thematic overview of the perceived facilitators and barriers according to pregnant women, medical professionals, and employers for the use of a mobile app in obstetrical care to prevent occupational-related pregnancy complications.

Two multidisciplinary focus group meetings with in total 14 participants were conducted with pregnant women, occupational physicians, general practitioners, midwives, obstetricians, and representatives of trade unions and employer organizations. Transcripts were analyzed by qualitatively coding procedures and constant comparative methods.
We identified 24 potential facilitators and 12 potential barriers for the use of the app in 4 categories: content of the app, the app as a mean to provide information, ease of use, and external factors. The 3 main facilitators identified were the need for a good interaction between the app and the user, apps were viewed as a more practical source of information, and the information should be understandable, according to the existing guidelines, and well-dosed. The 2 main barriers for use were extensive battery and memory use of the smartphone and sending frequent push notifications.
The results of this study are important considerations in the developing process of a medical app implementing a guideline or evidence-based information in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere163
Number of pages11
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

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