A Mobile Health Tool for Peer Support of Individuals Reentering Communities After Incarceration

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Infectious Disease | Telemedicine | Virus Diseases


Individuals just released from prison, or returning citizens (RCs), face high mortality rates during the reentry period, with cardiovascular disease (CVD) being a leading cause. Peer mentors can support RCs' health, but they traditionally work in person, which may not always be feasible, particularly during pandemic outbreaks such as COVID-19. We used human-centered design to build a prototype of RCPeer, a web/mobile application (app) to support peer-led reentry efforts through CVD risk screening, action planning, linkage to resources addressing reintegration needs (e.g., housing, transportation), and goal-setting. We assessed feasibility, acceptability, and usability of RCPeer using mixed-methods. System Usability Scale (SUS) scores were 68 for peers and 66 for RCs, indicating good usability. Qualitative data suggests that RCPeer can support reentry tasks through RCs and peers sharing data, strengthen RC-peer relationships, and facilitate RCs meeting their goals. Future work is needed to enhance usability for RCs with limited technology experience.


Returning citizens, reentry, incarceration, cardiovascular health, peer support programs, human-centered design, digital health, mobile health, mHealth, action planning

DOI of Published Version



Fuller, J.M., Ho, Y.X., Morse, R., Fix, G., Cutrona, S.L., Gaziano, T., Connolly, S.L., Hass, R., Jackson, J., Keith Mcinnes, D. A mobile health tool for peer support of individuals reentering communities after incarceration. (2021) Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 32 (2), pp. 148-165. doi:10.1353/hpu.2021.0055.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved