Researchers at UC San Diego Health System's Department of Reproductive Medicine and the National Latino Research Center (NLRC) at Cal State San Marcos University recently presented data at the American Public Health Association Conference in Washington D.C., demonstrating the impact of text4baby, a free mobile service that provides pregnant women and new mothers in San Diego with maternal, fetal and newborn health information via text messages and connects them to national health resources.
The study, funded by the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, took place with text4baby users in San Diego County and included interviews with 38 women and a phone survey with 122 users.
"Initial research indicates text4baby is increasing users' health knowledge, facilitating interaction with health providers, improving adherence to appointments and immunizations and strengthening access to health services," said Yvette LaCoursiere, MD, MPH, UC San Diego Health System Department of Reproductive Medicine.
The top study findings are:
• Women reported high satisfaction with text4baby, with Spanish-speaking women reporting even higher satisfaction scores than English‐speaking women.
• 63.1 percent of women reported that text4baby helped them remember an appointment or immunization that they or their child needed.
• 75.4 percent reported that text4baby messages informed them of medical warning signs they did not know.
• 71.3 percent reported talking to their doctor about a topic that they read on a text4baby message.
"These results show that mobile technology is an emerging force in health care. Text4baby provides an easy, free service to patients with a variety of resources that improve the health care of both the new parent and their baby," said LaCoursiere.
The San Diego research team is the first in the nation to evaluate the text4baby service through partnerships with the National Latino Research Center, San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, Voxiva, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition and the San DiegoText4Baby Coalition.
To date, more than 2,200 individuals have enrolled and used text4baby in San Diego. Expectant new parents can enroll in the service by simply texting "baby," or "bebe" for Spanish language messages, to 511411.
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