Efficacy of mobile phone intervention to increase male partner antenatal care attendance for HIV testing in Moshi municipal, Tanzania: a randomized controlled trial.

Abstract

Background

HIV partner counselling and testing in antenatal care (ANC) is a crucial strategy to raise the number of males who know their HIV status. However, in many settings like Tanzania, male involvement in antenatal care remains low, and there is a definite need for innovative strategies to increase male partner involvement. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of mobile phone intervention increase male partner ANC attendance for HIV testing in Moshi municipal, Tanzania.

Methods

Between April and July 2022, we enrolled pregnant women presenting to a first ANC visit at Majengo and St. Joseph reproductive health facilities without their male partners. Eligible pregnant women were randomly assigned to invitation of their male partners either via phone calls, text messages from clinic staff and verbal invites from pregnant partners (intervention arm) or verbal invites only from the pregnant partners (control arm). Neither healthcare provider nor participant were blinded. The primary outcome was the proportion of male partners who attended ANC with their pregnant partners during a follow-up period of two consecutive visits. The secondary outcome measure was HIV testing among male partners following the invitation. Participants were analyzed as originally assigned (intention to treat).

Results

A total of 350 pregnant women presenting to ANC for the first time were enrolled, with 175 women enrolled in each arm. The efficacy of male attendance with their pregnant women following the invitations was 83.4% (147/175) in the intervention arm and 46.3% (81/175) in the control arm. Overall, the results suggest a positive and statistically significant average treatment effect among men who received mobile phone intervention on ANC attendance. For the secondary outcome, the percent of male partners who accepted HIV counselling and testing was 99.3% (146/147) in the intervention arm and 93.8% (76/81) in the control arm. Married men were having higher odds of ANC attendance compared with single men (aOR:6.40(3.26-12.56), Males with multigravida women were having lower odds of ANC attendance compared with primigravida women (aOR:0.17(0.09-0.33).

Conclusion

The study demonstrates that supplementing verbal invitations with mobile phone calls and text messages from clinic staff can significantly increase male partner ANC attendance and HIV testing. This combined approach is recommended in improving ANC attendance and HIV testing of male partners who do not accompany their pregnant partners to antenatal clinics in the first visits.

Trial registration

PACTR202209769991162.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1186/s12884-024-06337-x

Publication Info

Lyimo, Angela, Blandina Mmbaga, Ashraf Mahmoud, Wilson Saimon Eliamini, Nicolaus Bartholomew Ngowi, Modesta Mitao, Godwin Pancras, Evangelista Malindisa, et al. (2024). Efficacy of mobile phone intervention to increase male partner antenatal care attendance for HIV testing in Moshi municipal, Tanzania: a randomized controlled trial. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 24(1). p. 306. 10.1186/s12884-024-06337-x Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/30747.

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