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ODTPC-UM: MIP- Evaluating a tailored, online depression treatment for MC3 Perinatal Clients (FY24)

This project seeks to evaluate a tailored, entertaining, technology-assisted evidence-supported depression treatment, Moms & Babies Feeling Better Together, for Medicaid-eligible women with perinatal depression. We propose to continue our collaborative work with Dr. Maria Muzik’s MC3 program to assess the impact of Moms & Babies Feeling Better Together on MC3 clients’ depressive symptoms, anxiety, and parenting self-efficacy over time using the program. We will also use mixed methods to explore barriers and facilitators to implementing the Moms & Babies Feeling Better Together program within the MC3 program model. This project directly builds upon and is a natural next step for our work conducted in FY21-FY22 as well as our sub-awards on Dr. Maria Muzik’s MC3 MIP projects in FY22 and FY23. Our prior work included offering and evaluating an entertaining, technology- assisted evidence-supported depression treatment for rural WIC clients in Lenawee County, Michigan (FY21) with very promising results. Through this project we worked with WIC stakeholders to tailor the text, images, examples, and quotes within the depression treatment program to be most relevant and acceptable to perinatal people; however, the program’s video-based content remained focused on general adult depression. We have enrolled over 40 pregnant and postpartum WIC clients in the depression treatment program and preliminary results of our evaluation indicate that, on average, these women experienced a statistically and clinically significant reduction of depressive symptoms and anxiety, as well as a statistically significant increase in perceived parental competence, over time in the program. That said, qualitative interviews with WIC clients at the end of their time in the depression treatment program suggest their experience and engagement with the program could be enhanced by intentional tailoring of the program’s video-based character-driven storyline and video- based educational content for perinatal depression. Our FY22 MIP project led us to collaborate with both the MC3 program and the Adrian Public Schools Head Start program. Both MC3 and Adrian Public Schools Head Start programs wanted to offer our tailored, entertaining, technology-assisted, evidence-supported depression treatment to their clients. We engaged with both groups to tailor the text, images, examples, and quotes for their client populations, working closely with stakeholders, including clients. Again, although we received positive feedback on the program and tailoring process, stakeholders again expressed their desire for a fully tailored program that would allow us to develop and implement video-based content, including a character-driven story and educational content, specific to perinatal depression. That resulted in our FY23 work focused on creating a new character-driven storyline featuring a character who experiences pregnancy and perinatal depression, as well as new video-based educational content specifically relevant and tailored to perinatal depression. To date, our community-engaged, iterative process has resulted in complete scripts for the new character-driven storyline as well as almost completed scripts for new educational content. Our scripts have been shared with our web development team who will create the animated and video-based content based on the scripts with continued stakeholder input.

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