Design and evaluation of a mobile-based intervention for Maya adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alejandro Dominguez-Rodriguez, Karla Dzul-Rosado*, Rosa Olimpia Castellanos-Vargas, Sergio Sanz Gómez, Paulina Erika Herdoiza-Arroyo, Yolanda de Jesús Hernández Delgado, Juan Ancona-Manzanilla, Juan Jose Arias-León, Cessia Esther Chuc Uc, Margarita Gabriela Albán-Terán, Emilia Gabriela Nieto Ramos, Emilia Nicole Villavicencio Calderón, Carlos Armando Arzola-Sánchez, Anabel de la Rosa-Gómez, Flor Rocío Ramírez-Martínez, Victoria Acosta Guzmán, Felipe Castillo Tzec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on mental health. International organisations have emphasised the vulnerability of indigenous people. Digital Mental Health approaches deliver online therapy as an evidence-based, effective, and accessible treatment option for common mental health problems. However, the evidence regarding these approaches is limited in indigenous populations. The objective of this study is to describe the design, development, and evaluation of the efficacy of a self-applied online intervention regarding the psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fear of COVID-19 in a sample of the Maya population. Method: A prospective longitudinal quantitative study was designed, where a single group was measured before and after receiving the online intervention. This study took place from April to September 2021 and consisted of six sessions delivered via WhatsApp in Spanish and Mayan. Results: The initial assessment was implemented with 82 participants who were evaluated using the Patient Health Questionnaire, Scale for Generalised Anxiety Disorder and the Fear of COVID-19 Scale; 18 participants remained in the intervention for the post-as-sessment. Statistical differences were observed in PRE and POST measures of depression and anxiety, but not in fear of COVID-19. Conclusions: This study produced positive results for the first online mental health intervention implemented in the Latin American indigenous population. Future studies might consider developing similar interventions for other indigenous communities in Latin America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-211
Number of pages10
JournalRevista Latinoamericana de Psicologia
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • depression
  • fear of COVID-19
  • Maya population
  • online intervention


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