Study: Texting Program Improved Pregnant Women's Health

Pregnant women who received text messages regarding neonatal health adopted healthier behaviors and improved their health status, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Researchers assessed the impact of Text4baby — an mHealth program that delivers text messages to pregnant women and new mothers — on women at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., from December 2011 through September 2013.

Researchers first administered a baseline survey to assess the mothers' attitudes and behaviors related to neonatal health and Text4baby message content. Participants randomized into the intervention group received usual care in addition to text messages from Text4baby.

Researchers found mothers in the intervention group increased agreement with the necessity of prenatal vitamins following receipt of related text messages. Additionally, mothers in the intervention group also increased belief in the importance of visiting healthcare providers regularly and in the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

Researchers suggest the results of the study indicate positive initial effects of mHealth programs on attitudes and beliefs regarding pregnancy, and suggest such outcomes could be applied to other mHealth programs and activities.

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