A mobile phone-based multimedia intervention to support maternal health is acceptable and feasible among illiterate pregnant women in Uganda: Qualitative findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial

Article Author(s): Angella Musiimenta1,2, Wilson Tumuhimbise1, Niels Pinkwart3, Jane Katusiime1, Godfrey Mugyenyi1 and Esther C Atukunda1


Objective: To assess the acceptability and feasibility of a mobile phone-based multimedia application (MatHealth app) to support maternal health amongst illiterate pregnant women in rural southwestern Uganda.

Methods: 80 pregnant women initiating antenatal care from Mbarara regional referral hospital were enrolled in a pilot randomized controlled trial and followed until six weeks after delivery. The 40 women in the intervention group received a MatHealth app composed of educational videos/audios, clinic appointment reminders, and the calling function. Qualitative interviews on acceptability of this technology were carried out with 30 of the intervention participants. An inductive, content analytic approach was used to analyze qualitative data. Quantitative feasibility data were recorded and summarized descriptively.

Results: Participants reported that the intervention is acceptable as it enabled them adopt good maternal health practices, enhanced social support from spouses, provided clinic appointment reminders, and facilitated communication with healthcare providers. Challenges included: phone sharing (74%), accidental deletion of the application 15 (43%), lack of electricity 15 (43%), and inability to set up a reminder function 20(57%).

Conclusion: The MatHealth app is an acceptable and feasible intervention among illiterate women, in a resource limited setting. Future efforts should focus on optimized application design, spouse orientation, and incorporating economic support to overcome the challenges we encountered.

Bibliographical metadata

DOI 10.1177/2055207620986296
Related Faculties/Schools
Link https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2055207620986296

1Department of Information Technology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda

2Angels Compassion Organisation, Mbarara Uganda

3Computer Science Department, Humbolt-Universit’a’t zu Berlin,Berlin