Milk Man: A non-experimental trial using digital technology to engage rural and remote fathers to improve maternal breastfeeding outcomes

About this study

Thank you for your interest in the Milk Man app study. This app has a range of information specifically tailored to fathers from when they are expecting a baby, and up to 6 months postpartum. The app also has a conversation forum connecting you to other new dads. We are seeking fathers to use the app who live in regional or rural areas of Western Australia. You must be expecting a baby to be able to participate in this study. We are looking to see what impact the use of the app has on breastfeeding outcomes.

What do I need to do?

If you do decide to participate, you will be asked some basic questions to set up a profile in the app, and then we ask you to use the app as you would any other app you have downloaded, there is no set usage frequency. The app is designed to be used from when your partner is pregnant, up until your baby is 6 months of age. We will send you messages via Milk Man to let you know about content relevant to where you are in your pregnancy in the conversation forum. But not too often, just twice a week! We don’t want to annoy you. We will ask you a few short questions through the app on how your baby is feeding every two weeks until they are 8 weeks old and then once a month until they are six months old. We will also be collecting analytics data about how dads use the app. We will be asking some fathers to participate in a telephone interview after using the app, to help us better understand their use of the app. If you are selected for an interview, we will email you. You are free to decide if you would like to take part or not. Your decision will have no impact on your use of the app.

What are the costs to me?

There are no costs to you associated with participating in the study.

What are the benefits for me?

You will have access to evidence-based information specifically designed for Western Australian fathers. You will be able to be connected to other new fathers. You will gain important information about your baby and becoming a parent. You will also be involved in important research which will help researchers better understand how we can support families in the perinatal period.

What if I don’t want to participate anymore?

You are free to withdraw from the study at any time. If you chose to withdraw, you can simply delete the app from your phone, and we will no longer be able to receive any data. If you choose to withdraw, and do not want us to use any information you have given us, you can contact Professor Jane Scott via email and we will delete your data.

How will you protect my privacy?

The data we collect will be used for research purposes only. We will never share your data with anyone for advertising, marketing or other use-based data mining purposes. The Milk Man app is not able to access any other data on your phone. We will ask you to let us send you messages via the app but that is all. Any reports or publications coming out of this study will not contain any identifiable data. All research data will be stored and managed in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Data collected from the app will be stored on a password secured server, accessible only by the research team, and the app developer. Data from the remote server will be regularly backed up and stored securely. All data, will be de-identified and stored in an electronic format on a secure Curtin server for the duration of the study stored securely and retained for 7 years.

Declaration of interest

This research project is being conducted by researchers from the School of Population Health at Curtin University and Reach Health Promotion Innovations (Reach HPI), in partnership with the Western Australian Country Health Service. The Milk Man app was developed by Dr Becky White of Reach HPI under contract to Curtin University. Dr Becky White is a Director of Reach HPI.

How can I find out more about this study?

If you have any questions you can contact any of the following:

This project, reference: RGS0000004134, has been approved by the WA Country Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee. Should you wish to make a complaint about the manner in which the research is conducted, please contact one of the following:

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