Provider perspectives on sexual health services used by Bangladeshi women with mhealth digital approach: a qualitative study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are underreported in Bangladesh. Women in general suffer from poor sexual health outcomes due to a lack of access to sexual health services. mHealth, a digital approach to STI services, is an easier and cheaper way to disseminate health information in Bangladesh. However, women have less autonomy in accessing STI services and it is important to learn if, how and/or why women use mHealth. A qualitative study was conducted with 26 medical doctors to explore their perceptions of the mHealth STI services used by Bangladeshi women. Themes were grouped under four categories: (1) provider perceptions of mHealth for sexual healthcare; (2) the health literacy of women clients; (3) cost and maintaining timeliness in providing mHealth services; (4) mHealth service accessibility. Data suggest that mHealth can play a significant role in improving the awareness and utilization of STI services in Bangladeshi women. Successful opportunities for STI service expansion using mHealth were identified, depending on the quality and type of service delivery options, awareness of challenges related to health literacy framework, cost, accessibility to information and availability of culturally competent health experts to disseminate health information. We identify the need to increase access and use of mHealth services for sexual health, as it provides an innovative platform to bridge the health communication gaps in sexual health for Bangladeshi women.

publication date

  • 2020