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    Rapid Design and Delivery of an Experience-Based Co-designed Mobile App to Support the Mental Health Needs of Health Care Workers Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact Evaluation Protocol (Preprint)
    Lewis, M ; Palmer, VJ ; Kotevski, A ; Densley, K ; O'Donnell, ML ; Johnson, C ; Wohlgezogen, F ; Gray, K ; Robins-Browne, K ; Burchill, L (JMIR Publications, 2020-12-02)
    BACKGROUND

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of health care workers’ mental health and well-being for the successful function of the health care system. Few targeted digital tools exist to support the mental health of hospital-based health care workers, and none of them appear to have been led and co-designed by health care workers.

    OBJECTIVE

    RMHive is being led and developed by health care workers using experience-based co-design (EBCD) processes as a mobile app to support the mental health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to health care workers. We present a protocol for the impact evaluation for the rapid design and delivery of the RMHive mobile app.

    METHODS

    The impact evaluation will adopt a mixed methods design. Qualitative data from photo interviews undertaken with up to 30 health care workers and semistructured interviews conducted with up to 30 governance stakeholders will be integrated with qualitative and quantitative user analytics data and user-generated demographic and mental health data entered into the app. Analyses will address three evaluation questions related to engagement with the mobile app, implementation and integration of the app, and the impact of the app on individual mental health outcomes. The design and development will be described using the Mobile Health Evidence Reporting and Assessment guidelines. Implementation of the app will be evaluated using normalization process theory to analyze qualitative data from interviews combined with text and video analysis from the semistructured interviews. Mental health impacts will be assessed using the total score of the 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ4) and subscale scores for the 2-item Patient Health Questionnaire for depression and the 2-item Generalized Anxiety Scale for anxiety. The PHQ4 will be completed at baseline and at 14 and 28 days.

    RESULTS

    The anticipated average use period of the app is 30 days. The rapid design will occur over four months using EBCD to collect qualitative data and develop app content. The impact evaluation will monitor outcome data for up to 12 weeks following hospital-wide release of the minimal viable product release. The study received funding and ethics approvals in June 2020. Outcome data is expected to be available in March 2021, and the impact evaluation is expected to be published mid-2021.

    CONCLUSIONS

    The impact evaluation will examine the rapid design, development, and implementation of the RMHive app and its impact on mental health outcomes for health care workers. Findings from the impact evaluation will provide guidance for the integration of EBCD in rapid design and implementation processes. The evaluation will also inform future development and rollout of the app to support the mental health needs of hospital-based health care workers more widely.

    INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT

    DERR1-10.2196/26168

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    Rapid Design and Delivery of an Experience-Based Co-designed Mobile App to Support the Mental Health Needs of Health Care Workers Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact Evaluation Protocol
    Lewis, M ; Palmer, VJ ; Kotevski, A ; Densley, K ; O'Donnell, ML ; Johnson, C ; Wohlgezogen, F ; Gray, K ; Robins-Browne, K ; Burchill, L (JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2021-03-01)
    BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of health care workers' mental health and well-being for the successful function of the health care system. Few targeted digital tools exist to support the mental health of hospital-based health care workers, and none of them appear to have been led and co-designed by health care workers. OBJECTIVE: RMHive is being led and developed by health care workers using experience-based co-design (EBCD) processes as a mobile app to support the mental health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to health care workers. We present a protocol for the impact evaluation for the rapid design and delivery of the RMHive mobile app. METHODS: The impact evaluation will adopt a mixed methods design. Qualitative data from photo interviews undertaken with up to 30 health care workers and semistructured interviews conducted with up to 30 governance stakeholders will be integrated with qualitative and quantitative user analytics data and user-generated demographic and mental health data entered into the app. Analyses will address three evaluation questions related to engagement with the mobile app, implementation and integration of the app, and the impact of the app on individual mental health outcomes. The design and development will be described using the Mobile Health Evidence Reporting and Assessment guidelines. Implementation of the app will be evaluated using normalization process theory to analyze qualitative data from interviews combined with text and video analysis from the semistructured interviews. Mental health impacts will be assessed using the total score of the 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ4) and subscale scores for the 2-item Patient Health Questionnaire for depression and the 2-item Generalized Anxiety Scale for anxiety. The PHQ4 will be completed at baseline and at 14 and 28 days. RESULTS: The anticipated average use period of the app is 30 days. The rapid design will occur over four months using EBCD to collect qualitative data and develop app content. The impact evaluation will monitor outcome data for up to 12 weeks following hospital-wide release of the minimal viable product release. The study received funding and ethics approvals in June 2020. Outcome data is expected to be available in March 2021, and the impact evaluation is expected to be published mid-2021. CONCLUSIONS: The impact evaluation will examine the rapid design, development, and implementation of the RMHive app and its impact on mental health outcomes for health care workers. Findings from the impact evaluation will provide guidance for the integration of EBCD in rapid design and implementation processes. The evaluation will also inform future development and rollout of the app to support the mental health needs of hospital-based health care workers more widely. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/26168.