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Can smartphones and tablets improve the management of childhood illness in Tanzania? : A qualitative study from a primary health care worker's perspective

Shao, Amani Flexson and Rambaud-Althaus, Clotilde and Swai, Ndeniria and Kahama-Maro, Judith and Genton, Blaise and D'Acremont, Valerie and Pfeiffer, Constanze. (2015) Can smartphones and tablets improve the management of childhood illness in Tanzania? : A qualitative study from a primary health care worker's perspective. BMC health services research, Vol. 15 , 135.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6381881

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Abstract

The impact of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy has been less than anticipated because of poor uptake. Electronic algorithms have the potential to improve quality of health care in children. However, feasibility studies about the use of electronic protocols on mobile devices over time are limited. This study investigated constraining as well as facilitating factors that influence the uptake of a new electronic Algorithm for Management of Childhood Illness (ALMANACH) among primary health workers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.; A qualitative approach was applied using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with altogether 40 primary health care workers from 6 public primary health facilities in the three municipalities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Health worker's perceptions related to factors facilitating or constraining the uptake of the electronic ALMANACH were identified.; In general, the ALMANACH was assessed positively. The majority of the respondents felt comfortable to use the devices and stated that patient's trust was not affected. Most health workers said that the ALMANACH simplified their work, reduced antibiotic prescription and gave correct classification and treatment for common causes of childhood illnesses. Few HWs reported technical challenges using the devices and complained about having had difficulties in typing. Majority of the respondents stated that the devices increased the consultation duration compared to routine practice. In addition, health system barriers such as lack of staff, lack of medicine and lack of financial motivation were identified as key reasons for the low uptake of the devices.; The ALMANACH built on electronic devices was perceived to be a powerful and useful tool. However, health system challenges influenced the uptake of the devices in the selected health facilities.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Health Interventions > Clinical Epidemiology (Genton)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Genton, Blaise and Pfeiffer, Constanze D. and D'Acremont, Valérie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1472-6963
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:31 Dec 2015 10:57
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 08:52

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