Community Members’ Perceptions of a Resource-Rich Well-Being Website in California During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Thematic Analysis.

Publication date: Mar 25, 2024

To address needs for emotional well-being resources for Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Together for Wellness/Juntos por Nuestro Bienestar (T4W/Juntos) website was developed in collaboration with multiple community partners across California, funded by the California Department of Health Care Services Behavioral Health Division federal emergency response. This qualitative study was designed to explore and describe the perspectives of participants affiliated with California organizations on the T4W/Juntos website, understand their needs for web-based emotional health resources, and inform iterative website development. After providing informed consent and reviewing the website, telephone interviews were conducted with 29 participants (n=21, 72% in English and n=8, 28% in Spanish) recruited by partnering community agencies (October 2021-February 2022). A 6-phase thematic analysis was conducted, enhanced using grounded theory techniques. The investigators wrote reflexive memos and performed line-by-line coding of 12 transcripts. Comparative analyses led to the identification of 15 overarching codes. The ATLAS. ti Web software (ATLAS. ti Scientific Software Development GmbH) was used to mark all 29 transcripts using these codes. After examining the data grouped by codes, comparative analyses led to the identification of main themes, each with a central organizing concept. Four main themes were identified: (1) having to change my coping due to the pandemic, (2) confronting a context of shifting perceptions of mental health stigma among diverse groups, (3) “Feels like home”-experiencing a sense of inclusivity and belonging in T4W/Juntos, and (4) “It’s a one-stop-shop”-judging T4W/Juntos to be a desirable and useful website. Overall, the T4W/Juntos website communicated support and community to this sample during the pandemic. Participants shared suggestions for website improvement, including adding a back button and a drop-down menu to improve functionality as well as resources tailored to the needs of groups such as older adults; adolescents; the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community; police officers; and veterans. The qualitative findings from telephone interviews with this sample of community members and service providers in California suggest that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the T4W/Juntos website was well received as a useful, accessible tool, with some concerns noted such as language sometimes being too “professional” or “clinical. ” The look, feel, and content of the website were described as welcoming due to pictures, animations, and videos that showcased resources in a personal, colorful, and inviting way. Furthermore, the content was perceived as lacking the stigma typically attached to mental health, reflecting the commitment of the T4W/Juntos team. Unique features and diverse resources, including multiple languages, made the T4W/Juntos website a valuable resource, potentially informing dissemination. Future efforts to develop mental health websites should consider engaging a diverse sample of potential users to understand how to tailor messages to specific communities and help reduce stigma.

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Concepts Keywords
Californians adaptation
Lesbian California
Rich COVID-19
Websites digital
emotions
health resources
humans
mental health
pandemics
prevention
psychological
public health
qualitative research
stigma
website

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 Pandemic
disease MESH emergency
drug DRUGBANK Methylphenidate
disease MESH infection
disease MESH death
disease MESH Substance Abuse
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease IDO process
disease MESH Anxiety Disorder
disease VO document
disease MESH mental illness
disease VO time
disease VO effective
disease IDO site
disease IDO production
disease VO population
disease IDO quality
disease MESH strokes
disease VO Equity
drug DRUGBANK Huperzine B
disease VO pregnant women
disease IDO intervention
disease MESH psychological distress
drug DRUGBANK Isosorbide Mononitrate
disease MESH unemployment
disease VO USA
disease VO Gap
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
disease MESH comorbidity
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH uncertainty

Original Article

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