Author(s): Higgs ES, Goldberg AB, Labrique AB, Cook SH, Schmid C,
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Abstract Given the high morbidity and mortality among children in low- and middle-income countries as a result of preventable causes, the U.S. government and the United Nations Children's Fund convened an Evidence Summit on Enhancing Child Survival and Development in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries by Achieving Population-Level Behavior Change on June 3-4, 2013, in Washington, D.C. This article summarizes evidence for technological advances associated with population-level behavior changes necessary to advance child survival and healthy development in children under 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries. After a rigorous evidence selection process, the authors assessed science, technology, and innovation papers that used mHealth, social/transmedia, multiplatform media, health literacy, and devices for behavior changes supporting child survival and development. Because of an insufficient number of studies on health literacy and devices that supported causal attribution of interventions to outcomes, the review focused on mHealth, social/transmedia, and multiplatform media. Overall, this review found that some mHealth interventions have sufficient evidence to make topic-specific recommendations for broader implementation, scaling, and next research steps (e.g., adherence to HIV/AIDS antiretroviral therapy, uptake and demand of maternal health service, and compliance with malaria treatment guidelines). While some media evidence demonstrates effectiveness in changing cognitive abilities, knowledge, and attitudes, evidence is minimal on behavioral endpoints linked to child survival. Population level behavior change is necessary to end preventable child deaths. Donors and low- and middle-income countries are encouraged to implement recommendations for informing practice, policy, and research decisions to fully maximize the impact potential of mHealth and multimedia for child survival and development.
This article was published in J Health Commun
and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism