Online Program

A formative evaluation of a mHealth program to improve management of childhood diarrheal disease among caregivers in Peru

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tirza Areli Calderon, MPH, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Holly Martin, MD, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA
Kathryn Volpicelli, MPH, Geneva Global, Wayne, PA
Rosemary Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH, Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Elsa Cecilia Díaz Arroyo, Departamento Académico de Salud Pública, Administración y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
Ernesto Gozzer, MD, MSc, IHS, Departamento Académico de Salud Pública, Administración y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
Alison M. Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, Department of Family and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
background: With over 75% of mobile phone subscribers in the developing world, mobile health (mHealth) is increasingly recognized as a promising approach to tackling intractable global health challenges. mHealth can help overcome major barriers to health, especially among underserved populations. Specifically, mHealth interventions designed to enhance adherence to evidence-based care could be effective tools in improving maternal-child health outcomes. objective: To understand caregiver perceptions of mHealth to inform the design of a mHealth program to improve management of common childhood illnesses, such as diarrheal disease. methods: A purposive sample of 25 mothers of young children, selected from a larger cluster-randomized survey sample in Arequipa, Peru, completed elicitation interviews addressing: (1) using mobile phones to send/receive information about child health and (2) using oral rehydration therapy (ORT) to manage childhood diarrheal disease. All interviews were conducted in Spanish and NVivo10 software was employed to facilitate coding and analysis. results: Thematic analysis revealed strong interest in a program that enables two-way communication with healthcare providers. Participants felt it would provide valuable support and information and would help low-resource families overcome challenges in accessing healthcare. Caregivers also described difficulties in managing diarrheal disease in children and lack of knowledge of and experience using ORT. conclusions: This study demonstrates that mHealth interventions can meet the needs of vulnerable populations and have the potential to improve child health outcomes through offering novel approaches to educating and promoting provision of evidence-based care among caregivers. Results will guide the development of a mHealth program in this community.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe caregiver perceptions around using mobile phones to send and receive information about child health. Discuss caregiver knowledge of, experience with, and beliefs around use of oral rehydration therapy to treat diarrheal disease symptoms in young children. Evaluate caregiver needs surrounding provision of care to children with diarrheal disease. Assess how a mHealth program could effectively improve common childhood illness management by caregivers through education and dissemination of information.

Keyword(s): Caregivers, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on many projects in the areas of maternal-child health and the prevention and control of infectious diseases. I have supported community health education efforts in Latin America, specifically in Honduras. As a Clinical Research Coordinator, I have managed a number of projects on health education, innovations in healthcare delivery and maintenance, and behavioral economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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