WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new report produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by Mathematica Policy Research and Public Health Institute finds that Text4baby subscribers are engaged with the program and would recommend it to others; subscribers are knowledgeable about critical maternal and child health topics; and the program has strong support from partners.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Since its launch in 2010, more than 126 million health and safety messages have been sent to more than 860,000 pregnant women, new mothers, and others enrolled in the service. Women who text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. The messages address topics such as labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, urgent alerts, developmental milestones, immunizations, nutrition, birth defect prevention, safe sleep, safety, and more.
The report evaluates the Text4baby program from its launch to late 2013 using data from national level stakeholder interviews, secondary data analyses and from information collected at four community health centers (CHCs) via a consumer survey, interviews, and consumer focus groups.
On four critical topics – safe sleep, infant feeding, best time to deliver in a healthy pregnancy, and the meaning of full-term – Text4baby subscribers demonstrated a significantly higher level of health knowledge than the comparison groups. Specifically the evaluation found that “eighty-one percent of women who signed up for Text4baby responded ‘correctly’ to at least three of the four knowledge items, versus 60 to 62 percent of other CHC prenatal care patients.” It also found that 99 percent of Text4baby subscribers surveyed say they would recommend Text4baby to a friend or family member.
The report also examines the public-private partnership supporting Text4baby, which has grown to more than 1,200 organizations across the country. Stakeholders felt this model “facilitated a faster implementation timeline.” Further, “federal government partners considered the public-private partnership model ‘unique,’ ‘a model for how we should increasingly be doing our work,’ and ‘absolutely critical to the success of the program.’”
Text4baby’s potential as a valuable component of comprehensive prenatal care also stands out in the new findings. By integrating Text4baby with the delivery of other existing health programs, there is potential to expand access to health information and increase knowledge about critical maternal and child health topics.
“These findings add to the evidence that Text4baby offers real benefits to pregnant women and new moms, and is widely valued by maternal and child health professionals,” said Janice Frey-Angel, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.
“This evaluation points to the critical role Text4baby can play in supporting pregnant women with key information and support, and the important opportunity to incorporate it more fully into the nation’s health delivery system,” said Voxiva Chairman Paul Meyer.
“We were proud to work with the participating carriers to make text messages free since today’s report findings prove what we knew anecdotally on the efficacy of this ground-breaking mobile health service,” said Athena Polydorou, Executive Director of The Wireless Foundation.
Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Text4baby is provided through a public-private partnership of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Voxiva, The Wireless Foundation and over 1,200 national, state and local health organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The service is completely free for the more than 850,000 mothers who have enrolled thanks to the generous support of America’s leading wireless carriers. To learn more, please visit www.text4baby.org.