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Self-Reported Outcomes With the Use of a mHealth Fetal Monitoring App During Pregnancy

      Objective

      Fetal movement monitoring has been examined as means of assessing fetal health and detecting fetal distress that, left untreated, may result in stillbirth. Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention campaign focused on educating expectant parents about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of the Count the Kick stillbirth prevention campaign, including: 1) how expectant women use the Count the Kicks app during their pregnancy; 2) if the app was effective in helping mothers track their babies’ movements; 3) if the app increased awareness of a change in fetal movement, and; 4) if so, the health outcome of their baby(babies).

      Study Design

      : A total of 809 women that had previously used the Count the Kicks app completed a self-report survey on their pregnancy outcomes, medical care, experience with the app, and birth outcomes. Responses from complete surveys were analyzed by χ2 analysis, McNemar test was used for the paired responses.

      Results

      Analysis showed significant differences in women's pregnancy experiences when they used the app to track fetal movement as compared to pregnancies when they didn't. Use of the Count the Kicks app was associated greater adherence to clinical kick counting recommendations, increased knowledge of movement patterns and identification of a change in movement. Women who used the app were more likely to be seen by a healthcare provider for decreased fetal movement compared to non-app pregnancies. Use of the app was also associated with reduced anxiety and increased maternal bonding.

      Conclusion

      Use of the Count the Kicks app is associated with better birth outcomes and improved use and understanding of fetal movement monitoring. Educating expectant parents on this campaign can improve birth outcomes. The results of the study can be applied to stillbirth prevention campaigns and reducing health care disparities.
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