Patient and Provider Perspectives on a Novel Mobile Health Intervention for Low-Income Pregnant Women With Gestational or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Lynn M. Yee*, Karolina Leziak, Jenise Jackson, Angelina Strohbach, Rana Saber, Charlotte M. Niznik, Melissa A. Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Management of diabetes mellitus (DM) during pregnancy is burdensome given the intensity of required patient engagement and skills, especially for women with greater social disadvantage. Mobile health (mHealth) technology is a promising avenue for DM health promotion, but few evidence-based mHealth tools exist for pregnancy. Thus, we designed a theory-driven mHealth tool called SweetMama, and planned a priori to gather usability and acceptability feedback from patients and providers to ensure a user-centered design. Methods: In this qualitative assessment, we solicited patient and provider feedback on this novel educational and motivational mobile application for low-income pregnant women with type 2 or gestational DM. Patients and providers participated in separate focus groups. Participants shared feedback regarding SweetMama’s visual appeal, architecture, and content. SweetMama modifications were made in an iterative manner. Transcripts were analyzed using the constant comparative technique. Results: Patient (N = 16) and provider (N = 29) feedback was organized as positive feedback, negative feedback, or additional desired features. Within each category, themes addressed SweetMama visual features, information, or functional features. The majority of negative feedback was addressed and multiple desired features were implemented via iterative application development, resulting in a user-friendly, efficient, and potentially impactful mHealth app designed to support the unique needs of this population. Conclusions: SweetMama users had largely positive feedback about the mHealth tool’s appeal, content, and functionality. Suggested improvements were incorporated in preparation for further evaluation steps, which include longitudinal usability testing, feasibility trials, and larger trials to determine the efficacy of SweetMama use for improving perinatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • behavioral intervention
  • gestational diabetes
  • mobile application
  • pregnancy
  • qualitative research
  • type 2 diabetes
  • user-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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