Fisabio launches a citizen science project to improve the mental health and well-being of pregnant women.


The Fisabio Foundation leads the Menina project (Improving the health and well-being of MENtal during pregnancy), which aims to generate new knowledge about the mental health and well-being of women during pregnancy through their involvement in research. In this way, it will be possible to delve into “their unmet needs, their problems and their feelings during pregnancy,” they pointed out.

Paula Pastor, Fisabio’s research and development manager, noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) “estimated that 25 percent of pregnant women experience significant psychological discomfort of some degree, and that one in five experience some kind of mood or anxiety disorder during during pregnancy and after childbirth, with anxiety and depression being the most common psychiatric disorders.

For this reason, the Menina project will promote psychosocial well-being and the prevention of mental disorders in mothers during pregnancy, according to a statement from the Generalitat.

A total of 12 pregnant women between the ages of 12 and 20 weeks of pregnancy will participate as “citizen scientists” in the qualitative study through interviews and sharing the results of the analysis phase with them.

The 12 pregnant women will be part of a collaborative and participatory process, together with the heads of the Mental Health Service and the Gynecology and Obstetrics Service of the General University Hospital of Elda (Alicante), doctors Olga Brotons and Maria José Garcia respectively. as well as other medical workers of these services.

The coordination of this project, which began on June 15 and will end on December 15, 2023, will be entrusted to Fisabio’s management team, consisting of R&D Project Manager and Head of Open Science Patricia Martinez; R+D+i and Citizen Citizenship Manager Paula Pastor and R+D Project Manager Fisabio Silvia Fajardo.

Martinez confirmed that with the implementation of the project, “they intend to develop new solutions to prevent and improve the mental health and well-being of pregnant women,” as well as “raise awareness and involve medical staff and families in the process.” “.


The Menina project has been selected to join the “Acceleration Program” of the European Impetus for Citizen Science initiative funded by Horizon Europe.

In addition, it was created as part of the Fisabio Foundation’s Citizen Science strategy to encourage the active participation of citizens in scientific research, which promotes co-creation and collaborative processes with the entire healthcare sector.

Impetus promotes citizen science projects through various open competitions. The first received 215 proposals, among which was the Menina project, which was eventually selected along with 34 other projects from all over Europe. Menina’s funding is 20,000 euros for the implementation of the project over the next six months.

The Impetus Acceleration Program is complemented by a citizen and collaborative science mentoring and training plan that each project will receive.


The initiative involves the inclusion of various population samples and case studies. Similarly, the Menina team hopes to successfully implement the findings into clinical practice by replicating them in the healthcare industry.

On the other hand, work will be done to obtain an “adequate” methodology that serves to expand citizen science processes as a “cross-cutting strategy” in research.

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