DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11172407 ISSN:

A Cluster Randomised Control Trial of an SMS-Based Intervention to Promote Antenatal Health amongst Pregnant Women in a Remote, Highland Region of Vietnam

Binh Thi Thanh Dao, Huong Thi Trinh, Phuong Hoai Lai, Tahli Elsner, Sumit Kane, Liem Nguyen
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

Although Vietnam has achieved significant improvements in maternal, newborn, and children’s health, outcomes for ethnic minorities living in remote mountainous areas continue to lag. Interventions that leverage the extensive mobile networks in the country have been proposed as a way to overcome some of these challenges. A cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) was conducted to assess the effectiveness of an intervention comprising tailored SMS messages for promoting antenatal care knowledge and behaviours amongst ethnic minority (EM) pregnant women. The cRCT was implemented across eight intervention communes (640 women) and four control communes (315 women) in Northern Vietnam. Maternal health-related knowledge and behaviour outcomes and self-rated health status were assessed through questionnaires administered pre- and post-intervention. Difference-in-difference and logistic regression analysis found that the intervention group showed significant improvements in awareness about the danger signs of pregnancy and the importance of nutritional supplements. Significant improvements were seen in antenatal care-seeking behaviours and the intake of nutritional supplements. Mobile messaging-based behaviour change interventions can significantly improve maternal health-related knowledge and care-seeking amongst women residing in marginalised, hard-to-reach populations.

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