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DOI: 10.17161/kjm.vol1414738; PMCID: PMC8274814


Introduction: In 2016, 209,809 babies were born to mothers 15 - 19 years of age, for a live birth rate of 20.3 per 1,000 in this age group. Many health issues surround adolescent mothers and their infants, many of which can be addressed through behavioral change. The main purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility, acceptability, usability, and relevance of momHealth, an innovative multiple health behavior change (MHBC) education and support mHealth intervention, focused on breastfeeding, healthy eating and active living, and depression prevention among pregnant and parenting adolescents. We also evaluated the proposed online surveys and physical outcome measures for feasibility and acceptability (burden, time, ease of use).

Methods: A one-group quasi-experimental longitudinal design was used to examine the intervention components and the breastfeeding, diet/activity, and depression outcome measures. Nine iPad-delivered education modules, text messaging, and virtual individual and group support were provided for 12 weeks, beginning at 32 weeks of pregnancy, with follow-up to three months postpartum. Data on the main behaviors and outcomes were collected at three in-home visits, one telephone call soon after birth, and ten postpartum weekly and biweekly online surveys.

Results: Although recruitment and attrition presented challenges, six participants enrolled in the study during prenatal clinic visits; all were pregnant with their first child, single, and had a mean age of 17.7 years (SD = 1.4). Intervention participation ranged from 59% to 91% for educational module completion, text message reading, and individual virtual support meetings and three virtual peer support groups were held. Intervention acceptability, relevance, and delivery was supported by reports of clear and relevant content, reasonable time burden, iPad ease of use, and acceptable intervention length. Data collection was reported as convenient and non-burdensome, but the diet recall method and activity monitoring challenged some.

Conclusions: This was the first MHBC research in adolescent pregnant women designed to improve breastfeeding outcomes, healthy eating/active living, and depression prevention. Findings demonstrated strengths and challenges of the interventions and methods, support feasibility and acceptability of momHealth, and informed the recruitment and intervention protocols of our pilot randomized trial.

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Kans J Med



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adolescent pregnancy; breastfeeding; depression; health behaviors; healthy nutrition


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