Racial and ethnic minority women have the highest rates of adverse mental health outcomes including maternal stress and post-partum depression. Mobile-based health (mHealth) applications have shown promise in supporting the promotion of mental health in a variety of fields including HCI. However, there exists a lack of research on how these applications are utilized, perceived, and adopted by populations most at-risk for poor health outcomes (e.g., Black women). This poster presents findings from our mixed-method exploration into the current utilization, adoption, and design preferences of technology-based health interventions for supporting the mental health concerns of perinatal Black women. Additionally, this poster presents a speculative look into a design of a gamified health companion app for supporting perinatal well-being informed by our research findings and related work within this domain.
Our research group examines how novel interactive computing systems can help people to achieve a state of wellness, as defined by the World Health Organization: "Wellness is the realisation of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically."
We are particularly interested in issues of health equity, designing innovative software tools for populations who disproportionately experience barriers to wellness. To this end, our research explores how social, mobile, and ubiquitous software systems can support health literacy, healthy behaviors, and health advocacy in low-socioeconomic and racial/ethnic minority groups. The Wellness Technology Lab utilizes user-centered, participatory design methods to design and build engaging and motivating software systems, and conducts in-depth field studies to evaluate user experience with and impact of these tools. Our work contributes to the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), social computing, ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp), and personal/consumer health informatics.