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Digital Educational Support Groups Administered through WhatsApp Messenger Improve Health-Related Knowledge and Health Behaviors of New Adolescent Mothers in the Dominican Republic: A Multi-Method Study

1
College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
2
Clínica de Familia La Romana, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
3
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2020 / Revised: 29 October 2020 / Accepted: 2 November 2020 / Published: 5 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Informatics: Consumer-Centred Digital Health)
(1) Background: In limited-resource settings such as the Dominican Republic, many factors contribute to poor health outcomes experienced by adolescent mothers, including insufficient support and/or health knowledge. In response, we designed a digital educational support group, administered through WhatsApp Messenger, for new adolescent mothers. The purpose of this study was to assess if participation in this digital support group could improve health outcomes and health behaviors. (2) Methods: Participants completed questionnaires with a health literacy screener, demographic items, knowledge questions, the Index of Autonomous Functioning, and five Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System scales before and after the moderator-led intervention. Differences between pre- and post-intervention scores were calculated and perceptions of the intervention were explored through in-depth interviews analyzed with content analysis. Participants’ well-baby visit attendance and contraceptive use were compared to that of controls and a national sample. (3) Results: Participants’ (N = 58) knowledge scores increased (p < 0.05). Participants were 6.58 times more likely to attend well-baby visits than controls (95% CI: 2.23–19.4) and their contraceptive use was higher than that of the national sample (p < 0.05). Participants indicated the intervention was enjoyable and beneficial. (4) Conclusion: This adolescent-centered digital intervention is a promising method to improve health outcomes and health behaviors of young mothers in limited-resource settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital health; mHealth; adolescent mother; digital support group; nursing informatics; WhatsApp Messenger digital health; mHealth; adolescent mother; digital support group; nursing informatics; WhatsApp Messenger
MDPI and ACS Style

Stonbraker, S.; Haight, E.; Lopez, A.; Guijosa, L.; Davison, E.; Bushley, D.; Aquino Peguero, K.; Araujo, V.; Messina, L.; Halpern, M. Digital Educational Support Groups Administered through WhatsApp Messenger Improve Health-Related Knowledge and Health Behaviors of New Adolescent Mothers in the Dominican Republic: A Multi-Method Study. Informatics 2020, 7, 51. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/informatics7040051

AMA Style

Stonbraker S, Haight E, Lopez A, Guijosa L, Davison E, Bushley D, Aquino Peguero K, Araujo V, Messina L, Halpern M. Digital Educational Support Groups Administered through WhatsApp Messenger Improve Health-Related Knowledge and Health Behaviors of New Adolescent Mothers in the Dominican Republic: A Multi-Method Study. Informatics. 2020; 7(4):51. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/informatics7040051

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stonbraker, Samantha; Haight, Elizabeth; Lopez, Alana; Guijosa, Linda; Davison, Eliza; Bushley, Diane; Aquino Peguero, Kari; Araujo, Vivian; Messina, Luz; Halpern, Mina. 2020. "Digital Educational Support Groups Administered through WhatsApp Messenger Improve Health-Related Knowledge and Health Behaviors of New Adolescent Mothers in the Dominican Republic: A Multi-Method Study" Informatics 7, no. 4: 51. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/informatics7040051

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