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Telemed J E Health. 2015 Mar;21(3):207-12. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2014.0048. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

Including men in prenatal health: the potential of e-health to improve birth outcomes.

Author information

1
1 Department of Advertising and Public Relations, The University of Texas at Austin , Austin, Texas.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest in the developed world, and disparity impacts underserved populations. Traditional maternal health focuses on women, excluding men from information affecting family health. Scholars advocate including men in prenatal health to reduce infant mortality, a proven strategy in developing nations. This study explored the role of U.S. men in prenatal health, barriers to involvement, and the use of e-health. Special attention was given to health literacy; research indicates e-health is effective in educating low health-literate audiences.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This study interviewed men with an average age of 33 years (n=32). The sample was 38% Hispanic, 28% African American, 28% white, and 6% multiracial. Participants were asked about pregnancy health and used a pregnancy-related e-health application on a tablet computer. Participants provided opinions on content, ease of use of the tablet, and willingness to use similar applications.

RESULTS:

Men believe it is important to be involved in pregnancy to help ensure healthy births. Most use mobile devices and computers for health information and found the application to be useful and interesting. Most concluded they would use a similar application to learn about pregnancy. Health literacy had minimal impact on participants' use of the tablet and information.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study explored the role men play in prenatal health, a promising avenue toward better birth outcomes. Using e-health is an opportune approach-it can reach men unavailable to attend prenatal programs because of work or feeling unwelcome at programs deemed "only for women."

KEYWORDS:

e-health; mobile health; telehealth; telemedicine

PMID:
25489723
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2014.0048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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