Terika McCall, PhD, MPH, MBA
Dissertation title: mHealth for Mental Health: Culturally-tailored Interventions for Managing Anxiety and Depression in African American Women
Advisor: Saif Khairat, PhD, FAMLA
Dr. McCall’s Dissertation Presentation on mHealth for Mental Health: Culturally-tailored Interventions for Managing Anxiety and Depression in African American Women
The rates of mental illness among African American women are comparable to the general population (20.6% vs. 19.1%), however, they significantly underutilize mental health services compared to their white counterparts (10.2% vs. 27.2%). Previous studies revealed that mHealth interventions increase access to mental health services and resources, and are effective in reducing anxiety and depression. Approximately 80% of African American women own smartphones. This presents a great opportunity to use mobile technology to help reduce the disparity in mental health service utilization and improve health outcomes. The purpose of the dissertation study was to examine the attitudes and perceptions of African American women towards using mental health services, and the feasibility of using mobile technology to deliver mental health services and resources. Several key questions for focus include:
- What are the attitudes and perceptions of African American women toward using mental health services?
- What are the barriers to utilization of mental health services?
- Is the use of mobile technology acceptable to African American women, in terms of delivering mental health services and resources, and helping them manage anxiety and depression?
- Which modalities are more acceptable than others (e.g., mobile app, video call, voice call, text messaging) to use to deliver mental health services and resources to African American women?
- What user-centered recommendations should be addressed in a smartphone application designed to help African American women manage anxiety and depression?
Biosketch: Dr. Terika McCall, PhD, MPH, MBA is a National Library of Medicine Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale Center for Medical Informatics. Dr. McCall received her Ph.D. in Health Informatics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on reducing disparities in mental health service utilization through the use of technology. Dr. McCall’s research is interdisciplinary and focuses on issues related to the acceptance, design, development, and use of mHealth applications for mental wellness.