Author ORCID Identifier

Dinkel -

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: The use of mobile applications or “apps” is beginning to be identified as a potential cost-effective tool for treating depression. While the use of mobile apps for health management appears promising, little is known on how to incorporate these tools into integrated primary care settings – especially from the viewpoints of patients and the clinic personnel. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore patient- and clinic-level perceptions of the use of depression self-management apps within an integrated primary care setting. Methods: Patients (n=17), healthcare providers, and staff (n=15) completed focus groups or semi-structured interviews in-person or via Zoom between January and July 2020. Participants were asked about barriers and facilitators to app use, how to best integrate it into care, and reviewed pre-selected mental health apps. Data were analyzed using a directed content analysis approach. Results: From a patient perspective, features within the app such as notifications, the provision of information, easy navigation, and a chat/support function as well as an ability to share data with their doctor were desirable. Providers and staff identified integration of app data into electronic health records to be able to share data with patients and the healthcare team as well as clear evidence of effectiveness as factors that could facilitate implementation. All participants who reviewed apps identified at least one of them they would be interested in continuing to use. Conclusions: Overall, patients, healthcare providers, and staff believed depression apps could be beneficial for both patients and the clinic.


This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Translational Behavioral Medicine following peer review. The version of record for A qualitative exploration of the feasibility of integrating mental health apps into primary care clinics by Dinkle, Caspari, Fok, Notice, Johnson, Watanabe-Galloway, and Emerson is available online at:

Journal Title

Translational Behavioral Medicine





First Page


Last Page


Included in

Biomechanics Commons