How Useful Are Smartphone Apps for Postnatal Depression?

Following the birth of a baby, many women suffer from postnatal depression in Singapore. According to the World Health Organisation, around 10% of mothers globally experience depression during or after their pregnancy. The condition, also called postpartum depression, can stem from a variety of factors, but is usually triggered by chemical and hormonal changes in the body. Although many applications related to depression exist, only 14 of them apply directly to postnatal depression, according to a recent paper compiled by several mental health professionals in Singapore.

Study By a Team of Experts

Melvyn WB Zhang and Daniel Shuen Sheng Fung of the Institute of Mental Health, Roger CM Ho and Alvona Loh of the National University of Singapore, and Tracey Wing of the National Psychiatry Residency Program at National Health Care Group in Singapore all participated in the research. Olivia Wynne and Sally Wai Chi Chan assisted from their positions on the faculty of the Health and Medicine School of Nursing and Midwidery, located at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. From the School of Public Health at the Imperial College London, U.K., Josip Car contributed.

How The Applications Are Found

To begin their research, the team looked for applications available through the Android Google Play store and the Apple iTunes store. They searched using words like “depression,” “perinatal,” “postnatal,” “pregnancy,” and “postpartum,” seeking English-language apps designed to help with these issues. The team found 14 apps available.

A Lack of Transparency and Reliability

Unfortunately, many of the apps did not include reliable information about the dates they were created; they only included their most recent modification date. This indicates that information in the app could be outdated or inaccurate, but users would not have a way to know that. The apps also didn’t reveal much about their authors or makers, and there weren’t many reliable references or sources listed for the information used within the app.

App Quality and Ratings

Using the Silberg Scale, the research team rated each smartphone application available. They discovered that the average score was no higher than 3.0, due to the lack of author credentials, affiliations, source information, or sponsorship disclosures. Eight of the apps scored a 3.0 or a little higher. There is definitely a need for more high-quality apps with thoroughly vetted authors and sources designed to help patients with postnatal depression. The developers should also work closely with mental healthcare professionals while creating these applications.

A Great Start

Even though the quality of the applications available in the market place still has a lot of room for improvement, it is heartening to know that this mental health issue has gained enough awareness that even app developers are crafting solutions to address it. With more users and feedback, we hope that the quality of these apps will only get better!

Immediate Help for Postnatal Depression in Singapore

Do you feel sad and tearful since you gave birth to your baby? Do you cry easily or feel apathetic and hopeless? If you feel anxious, angry, terribly sad, or extremely listless, you may have the signs of depression. Please seek help before your condition gets worse! Getting depression treatment from a psychiatrist in Singapore is the best thing for you and for your new baby. Call our mental health clinic right now and request an appointment at our comfortable, confidential offices. With prompt treatment, your mental health in Singapore can improve dramatically, and you can begin to enjoy life and motherhood again.

Finding Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Call us at 62509833 to make an appointment or fill in the form here so that we may get back to you.

Our clinic is located conveniently in the central Singapore:

Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic – Psychiatrists and Psychologists for Mental Health in Singapore
1 Coleman Street, The Adelphi
#04-32, Singapore 179803

Article by Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic Blog Team

(Source:, May 2017)