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.
© 2018 World Health Organization; licensed by Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.