Engaging Men in Prenatal Health Promotion: A Pilot Evaluation of Targeted e-Health Content

Dec 2016 | Michael Mackert, Marie Guadagno, Allison Lazard, Erin Donovan, Aaron Rochlen, Alexandra Garcia, and Manuel José Damásio

Abstract: Pregnancy outcomes in the United States continue to rank among the worst in the developed world. Traditional maternal–child health promotion tends to focus exclusively on women, leaving men out of programs that can affect family health. Scholars advocate including men in prenatal health to reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. This study explored the perceived role of men in prenatal health, the use of an e-health application, and participant-suggested ways of improving the application moving forward. This study interviewed men in a large Southwestern U.S. city with an average age of 26.0 years (N = 23). The sample was 52% White, 26% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 9% multiracial or other, and 4% Black. 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 tablets, and recommendations for a stronger application. Despite perceived barriers such as time constraints, financial burdens, and an unclear role, men believe it is important to be involved in pregnancy health. Most found the application to contain useful and interesting information. Participants recommended the addition of videos and interactive modules to make the application stronger. This study explored the use of a targeted e-health application to introduce men to prenatal health education. Results indicate men feel favorable to this type of intervention. Additional refinement of the application could include interactive tools or “push content” to further engage men in this important topic.



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