The role of an mHealth intervention in improving knowledge and skills of accredited social health activists in tribal areas of Gujarat, India: a nested study within an implementation research trial

Acta Paediatr. 2018 Dec;107 Suppl 471:72-79. doi: 10.1111/apa.14322.


Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of an mHealth intervention in improving knowledge and skills of accredited social health activists in improving maternal, newborn and child health care in India.

Methods: This was a nested cross-sectional study within a cluster randomised controlled trial. The intervention was a mobile phone application which has inbuilt health education videos, algorithms to diagnose complications and training tools to educate accredited social health activists. A total of 124 were randomly selected from the control (n = 61) and intervention (n = 63) arms of the larger study after six months of training in Bharuch and Narmada districts of Gujarat.

Results: The knowledge of accredited social health activists regarding pregnancy (OR: 2.51, CI: 1.12-5.64) and newborn complications (OR: 2.57, CI: 1.12-5.92) was significantly higher in the intervention arm compared to the control arm. The knowledge of complications during delivery (OR: 1.36, CI: 0.62-2.98) and the postpartum (OR: 1.06, CI: 0.48-2.33) period was similar in both groups. The activists from the intervention arm demonstrated better skills for measuring temperature (OR: 4.25, CI: 1.66-10.89) of newborns compared to the control group.

Conclusion: The results suggest potential benefits of this mHealth intervention for improving knowledge and skills of accredited social health activists.

Keywords: accredited social health activist; Implementation research; Knowledge and skills; Maternal, newborn and child health care; mHealth.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Health Services*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Community Health Workers / education*
  • Community Health Workers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Humans
  • Implementation Science
  • India
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services*
  • Pregnancy
  • Telemedicine*