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Using WeChat official accounts to improve malaria health literacy among Chinese expatriates in Niger: an intervention study

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Malaria is the main health risk for Chinese expatriates working in Niger. Health education is a recommended intervention for prevention of malaria among non-immune travellers and expatriate workers. It is urgent to develop an effective and feasible way for these populations to obtain information about the prevention and treatment of malaria.

Methods: An individually randomized, unblinded, controlled trial was used to evaluate the effectiveness of using WeChat official accounts for health education to improve malaria health literacy among Chinese expatriates in Niger. A total 1441 participants completed a baseline malaria health literacy questionnaire and were randomly assigned to an intervention or comparison group in a ratio of 1:1. From July to October 2014, 50 malaria prevention and treatment messages were sent to the intervention group; 50 health news messages were concurrently sent to the control group. Both groups completed the malaria health literacy questionnaire again 4 months after the start of the education intervention. A questionnaire addressing satisfaction with the health education programme was completed by the intervention group. Malaria morbidity data for 2013 and 2014 were also collected.

Results: At baseline, participant health literacy rates were 58.29, 62, 54, and 34% for skills, knowledge, practice, and attitude, respectively. After the intervention, rates for all four aspects of malaria literacy were above 70%. There was greater change in knowledge, attitude, practice, skills, and overall health literacy among the intervention group compared with the controls, with a statistically significant difference (p < 0.01). This was especially true for acquisition of malaria-related knowledge, practice and attitude; comprehensive intervention practices; and, correct use of rapid diagnostic tests (p < 0.001). The reported malaria morbidity during the study period decreased from 23.72 to 15.40%. Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the WeChat health education programme with over 80% stating that they would continue to follow the programme.

Conclusions: The present health education intervention, via a WeChat official account, for the prevention and treatment of malaria among non-immune travellers and expatriate workers proved to be an effective, sustainable, feasible, and well accepted strategy for improving malaria health literacy among Chinese expatriates in Niger.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Application flow sheet of malaria control health education in the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account. a Profile of the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account; b profile of the message sending page; c profile of the message reading page for staff; d profile of history message review page for staff; e profile of the consulting page for staff with experts
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Fig2: Application flow sheet of malaria control health education in the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account. a Profile of the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account; b profile of the message sending page; c profile of the message reading page for staff; d profile of history message review page for staff; e profile of the consulting page for staff with experts

Mentions: A WeChat official account can be used to deliver health education messages related to prevention and treatment of malaria in non-immune travellers and expatriate workers using a special feature for delivering the contents of learning modules and to provide discussion forums. The HSE department of the CNODC developed the Healthy Family WeChat official account with the technological support of a specialized IT company. The health education programme was developed for use with the Healthy Family WeChat official account (Fig. 2a). All participants were asked to follow the official account after completing the baseline survey. Both participant groups could read new messages (Fig. 2b, c) and review the message history (Fig. 2d) of content published in the official account. Messages sent to the intervention group only comprised content related to information about the prevention and treatment of malaria among non-immune travellers and expatriate workers; messages sent to the control group only contained health-related news. A consultation functional interface (Fig. 2e) was open only to the intervention group, for communication with health experts. Six experts (two from Beijing Ditan Hospital specializing in prevention and treatment of malaria in non-immune travellers and expatriate workers, two health management specialists from the HSE department of the CNODC, and two onsite doctors from the PetroChina Company Hospital) made up the consulting group, which was formed to individually address questions from participants in the intervention group on the prevention and treatment of malaria in non-immune travellers and expatriate workers. Participant questions were only visible to members of the expert panel, and experts were asked to answer queries within 24 h.Fig. 2


Using WeChat official accounts to improve malaria health literacy among Chinese expatriates in Niger: an intervention study
Application flow sheet of malaria control health education in the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account. a Profile of the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account; b profile of the message sending page; c profile of the message reading page for staff; d profile of history message review page for staff; e profile of the consulting page for staff with experts
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5121985&req=5

Fig2: Application flow sheet of malaria control health education in the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account. a Profile of the ‘Healthy Family’ WeChat official account; b profile of the message sending page; c profile of the message reading page for staff; d profile of history message review page for staff; e profile of the consulting page for staff with experts
Mentions: A WeChat official account can be used to deliver health education messages related to prevention and treatment of malaria in non-immune travellers and expatriate workers using a special feature for delivering the contents of learning modules and to provide discussion forums. The HSE department of the CNODC developed the Healthy Family WeChat official account with the technological support of a specialized IT company. The health education programme was developed for use with the Healthy Family WeChat official account (Fig. 2a). All participants were asked to follow the official account after completing the baseline survey. Both participant groups could read new messages (Fig. 2b, c) and review the message history (Fig. 2d) of content published in the official account. Messages sent to the intervention group only comprised content related to information about the prevention and treatment of malaria among non-immune travellers and expatriate workers; messages sent to the control group only contained health-related news. A consultation functional interface (Fig. 2e) was open only to the intervention group, for communication with health experts. Six experts (two from Beijing Ditan Hospital specializing in prevention and treatment of malaria in non-immune travellers and expatriate workers, two health management specialists from the HSE department of the CNODC, and two onsite doctors from the PetroChina Company Hospital) made up the consulting group, which was formed to individually address questions from participants in the intervention group on the prevention and treatment of malaria in non-immune travellers and expatriate workers. Participant questions were only visible to members of the expert panel, and experts were asked to answer queries within 24 h.Fig. 2

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Malaria is the main health risk for Chinese expatriates working in Niger. Health education is a recommended intervention for prevention of malaria among non-immune travellers and expatriate workers. It is urgent to develop an effective and feasible way for these populations to obtain information about the prevention and treatment of malaria.

Methods: An individually randomized, unblinded, controlled trial was used to evaluate the effectiveness of using WeChat official accounts for health education to improve malaria health literacy among Chinese expatriates in Niger. A total 1441 participants completed a baseline malaria health literacy questionnaire and were randomly assigned to an intervention or comparison group in a ratio of 1:1. From July to October 2014, 50 malaria prevention and treatment messages were sent to the intervention group; 50 health news messages were concurrently sent to the control group. Both groups completed the malaria health literacy questionnaire again 4 months after the start of the education intervention. A questionnaire addressing satisfaction with the health education programme was completed by the intervention group. Malaria morbidity data for 2013 and 2014 were also collected.

Results: At baseline, participant health literacy rates were 58.29, 62, 54, and 34% for skills, knowledge, practice, and attitude, respectively. After the intervention, rates for all four aspects of malaria literacy were above 70%. There was greater change in knowledge, attitude, practice, skills, and overall health literacy among the intervention group compared with the controls, with a statistically significant difference (p < 0.01). This was especially true for acquisition of malaria-related knowledge, practice and attitude; comprehensive intervention practices; and, correct use of rapid diagnostic tests (p < 0.001). The reported malaria morbidity during the study period decreased from 23.72 to 15.40%. Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the WeChat health education programme with over 80% stating that they would continue to follow the programme.

Conclusions: The present health education intervention, via a WeChat official account, for the prevention and treatment of malaria among non-immune travellers and expatriate workers proved to be an effective, sustainable, feasible, and well accepted strategy for improving malaria health literacy among Chinese expatriates in Niger.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus