Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are widely known as a global disease burden threatening health systems across the world. To combat this major public health problem, use of information and communication technologies in health is being explored. In SSA, the advancements in technological innovations for health have gained increasing relevance basically for the potential benefits of high penetration of mobile phones to contribute to advancing strategies for health actions (mHealth).
Main objectives and methodology: This study had two main objectives; first, to assess the contributions of mHealth in SSA and to determine how mHealth interventions could help improve NCD management, and second, to contribute new research methodologies to help advance the field of digital health research. Two systematic reviews and a realist review were conducted. Also, a mixed-methods study design was employed. Both quantitative survey and qualitative interviews were also conducted.
Results: The study resulted in exploring 6 major research topics, each addressing a specific aspect of the broad theme of mobile phone-based health interventions for improved management of NCDs.
The first research topic was about randomized control trials of mHealth interventions against NCDs in developing countries. It specifically examined the effectiveness of mHealth interventions to influence NCD-related outcomes. This study explored further the questions regarding how, why, for whom and in what circumstances mHealth interventions improve NCD care and treatment. The findings resulted in the development of a theoretical framework for understanding the contributions of mHealth.
Based on the theoretical framework, a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews were conducted to test the various components of the framework. As a proof of concept, both studies helped to refine the framework, but largely, the framework has been proven to be useful.
Conclusions: This study has mainly resulted in the development of an innovative framework for understanding the contributions of mHealth interventions. This is a major advancement in this digital health field of research.
|Advisor:||Quentin, WilmAgyei-Baffour, Peter|
|School:||Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health care management, Public health|
|Keywords:||Non-communicable diseases, mHealth, Health technology|
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