Cell Phones to Collect Pregnancy Data From Remote Areas in Liberia

Jody R. Lori*, Michelle L. Munro, Carol J. Boyd, Pamela Andreatta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report findings on knowledge and skill acquisition following a 3-day training session in the use of short message service (SMS) texting with non- and low-literacy traditional midwives. Design: A pre- and post-test study design was used to assess knowledge and skill acquisition with 99 traditional midwives on the use of SMS texting for real-time, remote data collection in rural Liberia, West Africa. Methods: Paired sample t-tests were conducted to establish if overall mean scores varied significantly from pre-test to immediate post-test. Analysis of variance was used to compare means across groups. The nonparametric McNemar's test was used to determine significant differences between the pre-test and post-test values of each individual step involved in SMS texting. Pearson's chi-square test of independence was used to examine the association between ownership of cell phones within a family and achievement of the seven tasks. Findings: The mean increase in cell phone knowledge scores was 3.67, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 3.39 to 3.95. Participants with a cell phone in the family did significantly better on three of the seven tasks in the pre-test: "turns cell on without help" (χ2(1) = 9.15, p= 003); "identifies cell phone coverage" (χ2(1) = 5.37, p= 024); and "identifies cell phone is charged" (χ2(1) = 4.40, p= 042). Conclusions: A 3-day cell phone training session with low- and nonliterate traditional midwives in rural Liberia improved their ability to use mobile technology for SMS texting. Clinical Relevance: Mobile technology can improve data collection accessibility and be used for numerous health care and public health issues. Cell phone accessibility holds great promise for collecting health data in low-resource areas of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-301
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Cell phone
  • Low literacy
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural
  • SMS texting
  • Traditional midwives


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