Mobile Technology, Cancer Prevention, and Health Status Among Diverse, Low-Income Adults

American journal of health promotion: AJHP (Impact Factor: 2.37). 11/2013; 28(6). DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.120816-ARB-396
Source: PubMed


Abstract Purpose . Characterize mobile technology ownership, use, and relationship to self-reported cancer prevention behaviors and health status in a diverse, low-income sample of callers to 2-1-1. Design . Secondary analyses of cross-sectional survey data from a larger trial collected from June 2010 to December 2012. Setting . United Way Missouri 2-1-1 serves 99 of 114 counties and received 166,000 calls in 2011. Subjects . The respondents (baseline, n = 1898; 4 month, n = 1242) were predominantly female, non-Hispanic Black, younger than 50 years, with high-school education or less and annual income <$20,000. Measures . Cell phone ownership and use and its relationship to cancer prevention services and health status were assessed via telephone-based survey, using items adapted from previous research and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Smartphone ownership and use were also assessed. Analysis . Descriptive statistics and bivariate and multivariate associations between cell phone ownership and prevention and health status are reported. Results . Three-fourths (74%) of study participants owned a cell phone and 23% owned a smartphone. Text messaging was the most popular use. Ownership was significantly associated with good to excellent health status and presence of smoke-free home policies in multivariate models. Conclusion . Cell phone ownership is growing and has potential to deliver health information to low-income populations. With 16 million calls annually, the national 2-1-1 system may be a promising model and platform.

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    • "Understanding how and why leaks occur could lead to strategies that 2-1-1 systems might adopt to prevent future missed opportunities. For example, the proliferation of mobile phone penetration among 2-1-1 callers (Purnell, Griffith, Eddens, &amp; Kreuter, 2014) makes it feasible to provide referrals as text messages that may be more likely to be retained, less likely to be lost or forgotten, and faster and easier to act upon. Referrals also can be shared directly with a service agency so that the agency can initiate contact with someone in need rather than waiting on the person to call. "
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    ABSTRACT: The 2-1-1 information and referral helpline connects economically vulnerable Americans with needed health and social services in their communities. This longitudinal study followed a random sample of 2-1-1 callers in Missouri (n = 1,235) to determine the results of the referrals they received. One month after calling 2-1-1, most remembered receiving (93%), tried contacting (91%), and reached (82%) at least one referral they received. Far fewer (36%) received assistance from the referral, ranging from 17% for housing assistance to 67% for food assistance. Callers receiving assistance were much more likely than those not receiving assistance to report at the one-month follow-up that their problem had been resolved (OR = 3.0, 95% CI = 2.2, 4.1), although this was less true among callers with multiple unmet basic needs. Findings explain how 2-1-1 helps callers resolve problems but also helps them identify missed opportunities in the current system. Future research could elucidate how 2-1-1 callers resolve problems; it could also find ways to improve outcomes for the most disadvantaged 2-1-1 callers.
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