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Reading: mHealth Interventions in Low-Income Countries to Address Maternal Health: A Systematic Review

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mHealth Interventions in Low-Income Countries to Address Maternal Health: A Systematic Review

Authors:

Daniela Colaci ,

Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA; Maternal and Child's Health Department, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, Buenos Aires, Argentina
About Daniela
MD, MSc
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Simran Chaudhri,

Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
About Simran
MBBS, MPH
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Ashwin Vasan

Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA; Department of Medicine, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA; Columbia Population Research Center, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA; HMS Center for Primary Care, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
About Ashwin
MD, PhD
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Abstract

Background

The wide availability and relative simplicity of mobile phones make them a promising instrument for delivering a variety of health-related interventions. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions have been tested in a variety of health delivery areas, but research has been restricted to pilot and small studies with limited generalizability. The aim of this review was to explore the current evidence on the use of mHealth for maternal health interventions in low- and low middle-income countries.

Methods

Peer-reviewed papers were identified from Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library via a combination of search terms. Quantitative or mixed-methods papers published in the English language between January 2000 and July 2015 were included.

Results

Three hundred and seventy papers were found in the literature search. We assessed the full text of 57 studies, and included 19 in the review. Study designs included were 5 randomized controlled trials, 9 before and after comparisons, 1 study with endline assessment only, 3 postintervention assessments, and 1 cohort study. Quality assessment elucidated 9 low-quality, 5 moderate, and 5 high studies. Five studies supported the use of mobile phones for data collection, 3 for appointment reminders, and 4 for both appointment reminders and health promotion. Six studies supported the use of mHealth for provider-to-provider communication and 1 for clinical management.

Conclusions

Studies demonstrated promise for the use of mHealth in maternal health; however, much of the evidence came from low- and moderate-quality studies. Pilot and small programs require more rigorous testing before allocating resources to scaling up this technology.

How to Cite: Colaci, D., Chaudhri, S. and Vasan, A., 2017. mHealth Interventions in Low-Income Countries to Address Maternal Health: A Systematic Review. Annals of Global Health, 82(5), pp.922–935. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2016.09.001
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Published on 08 Mar 2017.
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