Global WACh

March 31, 2023

Sikiliza Mama study centers patients’ needs to inform perinatal mental health services

Sikiliza Mama study team members from left to right: Ben Ochieng, Joan Mutahi, Helen Moraa, Winnie Atieno, Anna Larsen

The Sikiliza Mama (Kiswahili for “Listen to Mama”) study, funded by a UW Behavioral Research Center for HIV (BIRCH) Community Centered Pilot AIDS Research Center (C-PARC) award, recently initiated qualitative data collection.  The team is using a human-centered design approach to conduct in-depth interviews among perinatal women with likely depression and/or anxiety to evaluate acceptability of existing formal and informal mental health services. The findings can help inform patient-centered perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) services for women at risk for HIV and women living with HIV and result in better maternal and infant outcomes.

Study participants are enrolled from two ongoing Global WACh projects that aim to determine whether HIV-exposed but uninfected children have increased risk of adverse neurodevelopmental or mental health outcomes.  The study team is currently finishing qualitative in-depth interviews with perinatal women about their experiences with mental health services. Next, they will initiate focus group discussions that use to engage perinatal women in identifying preferences for future mental health services mapped to evidence-based interventions.

Joan Mutahi and Anna Larsen in front of the study team’s poster abstract at the KNH Collaborators meeting.

The Sikiliza Mama study team is led by Anna Larsen (Co-Investigator) and includes Keshet Ronen (Principal Investigator), Manasi Kumar and Irene Njuguna (Co-Investigators), Joan Mutahi (Study Coordinator), Winnie Atieno (Qualitative Interviewer), and Hellen Moraa (Qualitative Interviewer). In January, the team gathered at the Kenyatta National Hospital Collaborators meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, where they presented plans for this important work towards building a perinatal mental health system of support.