Research and Reality: Using Mobile Messages to Promote Maternal Health in Rural India

Divya Ramachandran, Vivek Goswani, and John Canny

Abstract

Rural health workers in India do not always have the training, cred-ibility or motivation to effectively convince clients to adopt healthy practices. To help build their efficacy, we provided them with mes-sages on mobile phones to present to clients. We present a study which compared three presentations of persuasive health messages by health workers using a phone-based lecture-style message, a phone-based dialogic message that elicits user responses, or no ad-ditional aids. We found that dialogic messages significantly im-prove the quality of counseling sessions and increase discussion be-tween health workers and clients; however, we did not statistically measure an effect of either phone-based message on health behav-ioral outcomes. We analyze these results in light of the challenges we faced and compromises we made through the research process due to the interplay of social, cultural and environmental realities, and discuss how these factors affect ICTD projects at large

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inICTD2010
URLhttp://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2369253
Publisher4th IEEE/ACM Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and International Development (ICTD) 2010, London, UK, IEEE
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