Knowledge, attitude, and use of mHealth technology among students in Ghana: A university-based survey

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2019 Nov 12;19(1):220. doi: 10.1186/s12911-019-0947-0.


Background: Interest in mHealth interventions, defined as the use of mobile phones to access healthcare is increasingly becoming popular globally. Given its technology-based applications, university students may be key clients of the mHealth adoption but studies are rare in sub-Saharan Africa. This study provides a snapshot and baseline evidence on knowledge, attitude and use of mHealth among university students in Ghana.

Methods: Using a self-administered questionnaire, we collected data between April and June 2017 from 963 randomly sampled undergraduate students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Pearson's Chi-square (χ2) test assessed the differences between variables whilst logistic regression models estimated the independent predictors of use of mHealth with p < 0.05 as significant.

Results: Knowledge on mHealth was moderately high. Specifically, more than half of the sample reported awareness of mHealth although the prevalence of use of mHealth stood at 51%. Logistic regressions revealed that mHealth use was positively associated with respondents' year (second year: OR = 1.704, 95% CI: 1.185-2.452, and third year: OR = 1.528, 95% CI: 1.060-2.202), and monthly income (OR:3.112, 95%CI: 1.180-8.211). However, ethnicity [(OR = 0.761, 95% CI (0.580-0.997)] was negatively associated with the use of mHealth technology.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that knowledge of mHealth among university students is low. Policy and public health interventions for urgent awareness creation and promotion of use of mHealth as well as its possible integration into the mainstream healthcare system in Ghana are timely.

Keywords: Ghana; Integration; KNUST; Knowledge; University students; Utilization; mHealth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult