AWARENESS ABOUT mHEALTH AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS – A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY IN A MEDICAL COLLEGE IN MAHARASHTRA
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2022, Volume 9, Issue 6, Pages 390-399
The widespread use of medical software applications and internet for browsing health related topics have become a novel way to improve health and health care delivery system. Especially, in these days when covid 19 pandemic have struck the world so badly that people have less access to hospitals for their routine medical care, mHealth have shortened the distance between a patient and doctor. Advancements in mobile technologies and better reach of mobile networks have accelerated the usage of mobile apps and other electronic devices for planning ,programming and executing various health care services round the globe. Even in India during the covid pandemic, use of mobile apps like Arogya Setu have made a great impact in planning and provision of health care. This study aims at assessment of awareness on mHealth among undergraduate medical students in a tertiary centre at Maharashtra, India.
A cross sectional study was conducted among undergraduate medical students of Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra. A pretested semi structured questionnaire was used to collect data from the medical students. About 400 students studying in first year and second year were included in the study. An informed consent was attached along with the questionnaire. Collected data was entered in MS Excel and analyzed using SPSS 26 trial version. Quantitative data was expressed in terms of mean and standard deviation, categorical data was expressed as frequencies and percentages. Chi-square test was used to check the association between the parameters. Data was represented in tabular and graphical form.
Among the 379 participants,226(59.63%) were males and 153(40.36 %) were females.55.4% belonged to age group above 20 years,85.22% were Hindus. 82.32% belonged to Class I socioeconomic class according to modified B G Prasad’s classification. Among the respondents,47.75% only had adequate knowledge, 54.8% had appropriate attitude and 64.3% followed appropriate practice regarding mHealth.
About 70% thought that usage of health related apps is not a wastage of time.87.07
% browse internet for health related queries and 76.78% of them spend only less than 30 minutes for that. 67.8% do not prefer to recommend health related apps to their colleagues. About 57% are expecting more health related apps in future, after solving the glitches in the currently available ones. Among the respondents, 95 (55.8%)of those belonging to age group less than 20 years have adequate knowledge regarding m-health, while only 40.6% of those belonging to age group more than 20 years had adequate knowledge in this regard (p value= 0.0015). Males had more knowledge about mHealth than females (p=0.0015).102 respondents belonging to 1st year MBBS(54.5%) had adequate knowledge as compared to 79 belonging to 2nd year MBBS(41.4%) (p=0.004).
Males had a better attitude regarding mHealth than females(p= 0.016).Also, respondents aged less than 20 years had better appropriate practice of mHealth than others (p=<0.00).
In this study,it has been found that more awareness must be created among health
care professionals regarding use of mHealth in healthcare delivery. Majority of the respondents agreed upon the utility of health related apps in easy access to national guidelines and lab reference, faster medical score and dose calculations and for acquiring knowledge, developing skills and for evidence based practice. Hence in this context, developing an e-platform for the same can save time ,money and manpower to a great extend.
Therefore, focus must be on creating apps which are user friendly and which provides maximum data in short span of time. Periodic quality checks on apps must be given to ensure accurate content delivery.
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