San Marcos,
06
August
2014

CSUSM Researchers Conduct National Survey Demonstrating Positive Impact of Text4baby Service

By Christine Vaughan

A new national report released by California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) researchers Konane Martinez, Ph.D. and Shinya Uekusa, M.A. demonstrates the positive impact of a mobile messaging service for expectant and new moms. Text4baby, a free text message-based health program, provides prenatal and first-year health and safety information to its more than 740,000 subscribers nationwide.

The national survey evaluated by Martinez and Uekusa revealed high satisfaction among participants. They noted that users of Text4baby self-reported that the free mobile text service provided useful health information, helped initiate conversations with their care providers, reminded them of important appointments and immunizations, and helped provide access to and awareness of health services and resources.

Subscribers of Text4baby receive three personalized text messages per week timed to their baby’s due date or birthday. The messages cover a broad range of topics including labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, nutrition, baby’s development, breastfeeding, oral health, urgent health alerts and product recalls, safety and more. Text4baby also includes interactive appointment and immunization reminders, educational videos and mobile web pages, and links to health insurance information and health-related services.

“Pregnancy and childbirth can be both an exciting time as well as one filled with a lot of questions and uncertainties,” said Martinez, associate professor of medical anthropology at CSUSM. “The results of the survey indicate not only high satisfaction with Text4baby, but that the service is reaching expectant and new mothers most in need for information and access to services. The results of the survey are encouraging; participants in the Text4baby service state that they are utilizing the information and resources provided by the service in a positive way.”

Survey results also indicate that Text4baby is successfully reaching and serving uninsured participants and those with lower educational attainment. Overall, 47 percent of national survey participants reported Text4baby helped connect them to health services for them and/or their baby, with a higher percentage of uninsured participants (60 percent) reporting that Text4baby helped them access health services. Nearly half of survey respondents reported that their annual household income was $16,000 or less.

“Findings from the survey help demonstrate the positive impact of Text4baby and the potential impact of mobile health interventions more broadly,” added Martinez.

Insights from the survey include:

  • 85.1 percent reported that Text4baby messages informed them of medical warning signs they did not know.
  • 63.1 percent reported that Text4baby helped them remember an appointment, and 75.4 percent reported that the service helped them remember an immunization that they or their child needed. 
  • 45.6 percent reported that they called a service or phone number that they received from a Text4baby message.
  • 95.3 percent reported that Text4baby messages informed them of health information that they did not know.
  • 65.4 percent reported talking to their doctor about a topic that they read on a Text4baby message.
  • 47.2 percent reported that Text4baby helped connect them to health services. 
  • 91.2 percent reported that Text4baby helped them make healthy choices.

The data was collected by a telephone survey, sampling 1,171 Text4baby participants who had been enrolled in the service for at least one month. Text4baby was developed in partnership with founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson and founding partners Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and Grey Healthcare Group.

For more information on Text4baby, visit www.text4baby.org. To subscribe, text BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.

View the full report: National Survey of Text4baby Participants

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Christine Vaughan
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