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Table 2 Themes from open-ended participant satisfaction items and illustrative responses

From: Feasibility of an interactive voice response system for monitoring depressive symptoms in a lower-middle income Latin American country

Topic/theme Example responsesa
The thing you liked best about your experience
Self-care guidance All the questions are interesting and important because they are concerned about my well-being, telling me how I should take care of myself and how I should take my medications, and get exercise
I could see how bad depression could get; I was worried about that and didn’t want to be like that, depressed, and when I listened to the advice I took care of myself
Medication adherence reminders The reminders to take your medicine as prescribed by the doctor, on the correct schedule, until it becomes a habit
(I liked that) they bothered to give reminders about medications, about going to the doctor
Learned that depression can be controlled I have learned that depression is an illness that you can treat, using the advice that they gave us
One learns to trust oneself, go to the doctor, and take control of this illness
Liked having someone ask about health; calls improved mood It was motivating to have someone call and be concerned about my health, and no matter how sad I was feeling, the advice they gave us always cheered me up
Many times they called on a Monday when I was feeling bad, but after the call I felt better
IVR questions helped in monitoring depression From the ‘how you are feeling’ questions I’ve learned that one can be getting more depressed without realizing it, and the program helped me to realize it, and can look for a good way of thinking what one can do to get out of the situation
The advice and the questions taught me how to detect my depression
The thing you liked least about your experience
Questions were repetitious Sometimes they repeated the same question over and over
The last few weeks they kept repeating the same question
Technical difficulties The calls got cut off a lot and generally I had difficulties in responding—when I was pushing buttons because she said to choose a response, I’d keep pushing but she kept asking the same question again
Sometimes the bad thing was that upon typing in my answer, it would hang up and the call was dropped. Maybe a landline would have been better
Calls happened at inconvenient times I didn’t have any problems with responding, it’s just that often I couldn’t answer the phone because of work or because I forgot my phone at home
Sometimes they would call right when I stepped outside
Miscellaneous I didn’t like that it was a machine, the fact that you couldn’t interact. It’s very “cold.”
What I didn’t like is the slant that I felt like the questions had: no matter how good I felt, the program did not pay any attention and when I pressed the response that I felt bad, I was able to continue with the rest of the call
It seems very repetitive and long, maybe make shorter calls and later have an interview (in person, like this one)
If you could change one thing about the service
Would not change anything; really liked program I wouldn’t change anything, all the advice you gave that I could hear I liked
Everything was good. I liked how a person that you don’t even know asks you how you are. More advice that tells us to do something or not do something, that helps. Many times I went to the doctor because of the advice that I got
More human contact I like how the service is now, but I would like to have more personal contact, these would be a lot more helpful than calls
(I would like there to be) more personal interviews, to be able to talk to a person and not with a machine
  1. aTranslated from Spanish. Original-language versions available upon request