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mLearning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A Mixed-Methods Feasibility and Pilot Cluster Randomized Trial Using the Safe Delivery App.

Submitted by karopka on Tue, 2019/11/26 - 19:58
TitlemLearning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A Mixed-Methods Feasibility and Pilot Cluster Randomized Trial Using the Safe Delivery App.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBolan, NE, Sthreshley, L, Ngoy, B, Ledy, F, Ntayingi, M, Makasy, D, Mbuyi, M-C, Lowa, G, Nemeth, L, Newman, S
JournalGlob Health Sci Pract
Date Published2018 12 27
KeywordsCongo, Feasibility Studies, Female, Humans, Infant Care, Infant, Newborn, Interviews as Topic, Male, Maternal Mortality, Mobile Applications, Obstetrics, Pilot Projects, qualitative research, Quality of Health Care

BACKGROUND: Substandard delivery care has been widely documented as a major cause of maternal mortality in health facilities globally. Health worker learning via mobile devices is increasing rapidly; however, there is little evidence of mLearning effectiveness. This study sought to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effect of the Safe Delivery App (SDA) on health workers' practices in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Theoretical Domains Framework was used to guide this research.METHODS: Eight BEmONC facilities in central DRC were randomized to either an mLearning intervention or to standard practice (control). Maternal and newborn health workers in intervention facilities (n=64) were trained on the use of smartphones and the French version of the SDA. The SDA is an evidence-based BEmONC training resource with visual guidance using animated videos and clinical management instructions developed by the Maternity Foundation and the Universities of Copenhagen and Southern Denmark. Knowledge on postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) and neonatal resuscitation (NR) and self-confidence in performing 12 BEmONC procedures were assessed at baseline and at 3 months post-intervention. Eighteen qualitative interviews were conducted with app users and key stakeholders to assess feasibility and acceptability of mLearning and the use of the SDA. Maternal mortality was compared in intervention and control facilities using a smartphone-based Open Data Kit (ODK) data application. One smartphone with SDA and ODK was entrusted to intervention facilities for the study period, whereas control facilities received smartphones with ODK only.RESULTS: The analysis included 62 heath workers. Knowledge scores on postpartum hemorrhage and neonatal resuscitation increased significantly from baseline among intervention participants compared with controls at 3 months post-intervention (mean difference for PPH knowledge, 17.4 out of 100; 95% confidence interval [CI]=10.7 to 24.0 and 19.4 for NR knowledge; 95% CI=11.4 to 27.4), as did self-confidence scores on 12 essential BEmONC procedures (mean difference, 4.2 out of 48; CI=0.7 to 7.7). Increases were unaffected by health worker cadre and previous smartphone use. Qualitative interviews supported the feasibility and acceptability of the SDA and mLearning, and the potential for it to impact maternal and neonatal mortality in the DRC.CONCLUSION: Use of the Safe Delivery App supported increased health worker knowledge and self-confidence in the management of obstetric and newborn emergencies after 3 months. SDA and mLearning were found to be feasible and acceptable to health workers and key stakeholders in the DRC.

Alternate JournalGlob Health Sci Pract
PubMed ID30591577
PubMed Central IDPMC6370362
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