Health workers’ perceptions and experiences of using mHealth technologies to deliver primary healthcare services: a qualitative evidence synthesis
Odendaal, Willem A. et al.
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Background: Mobile health (mHealth), refers to healthcare practices supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. Within primary care, health workers often use mobile devices to register clients, track their health, and make decisions about care, as well as to communicate with clients and other health workers. An understanding of how health workers relate to, and experience mHealth, can help in its implementation. Objectives: To synthesise qualitative research evidence on health workers' perceptions and experiences of using mHealth technologies to deliver primary healthcare services, and to develop hypotheses about why some technologies are more effective than others. Search methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Science Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index in January 2018. We searched Global Health in December 2015. We screened the reference lists of included studies and key references and searched seven sources for grey literature (16 February to 5 March 2018). We re‐ran the search strategies in February 2020. We screened these records and any studies that we identified as potentially relevant are awaiting classification. Selection criteria: We included studies that used qualitative data collection and analysis methods. We included studies of mHealth programmes that were part of primary healthcare services. These services could be implemented in public or private primary healthcare facilities, community and workplace, or the homes of clients. We included all categories of health workers, as well as those persons who supported the delivery and management of the mHealth programmes. We excluded participants identified as technical staff who developed and maintained the mHealth technology, without otherwise being involved in the programme delivery. We included studies conducted in any country.