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Soulivanh Pholsena
Naree Achwarin


The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) continues to face the challenge of overcoming remarkably high maternal death. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Laos was reported at 185 per 100,000 live births, which was ranked 49th in the world and still behind Cambodia (160/100,000), Vietnam (43/100,000), Thailand (37/100,000), and China (29/100,000) (UNICEF, 2019). In the Lao PDR, it was found that inadequate maternal knowledge about antenatal care and birth complications was strongly associated with poorer maternal and infant health outcomes, especially among poor women from rural areas, low education, and ethnic minorities. Women who have better knowledge of antenatal care were more likely to recognize the complications associated with their pregnancy and seek medical attention. Therefore, it was critical to understand their health information needs. This research aimed to develop the social media-based antenatal health promotion system (SM-AHPS) based on women’s health information needs during pregnancy and to evaluate its efficiency among prenatal women. The mixed research method was conducted by dividing the study into two parts (qualitative and quantitative). The samples, obtained through a purposive sampling technique, were forty first-time pregnant women for health information need analysis (qualitative part) and 110 pregnant women for knowledge assessment and SM-AHPS users’ experience in quasi-experiment (quantitative part). The research instruments used were: (1) semi-structured interview on pregnant women’s health information needs, (2) a structured questionnaire on antenatal care knowledge assessment, and (3) a semi-structured questionnaire on users’ perceptions of using SM-AHPS. Results showed that SM-AHPS was an effective instructional tool for enhancing women’s antenatal care knowledge (Pre-intervention: x̅ = 69.6, S.D.= 6.75, post-intervention x̅ = 73.3, S.D. = 7.03) significantly at the level of .001. In addition, it was found that Perceived usefulness (PU), Perceived ease of use (PEOU), and Attitude toward usage (ATU) positively predicted the users’ behavioral intention (BI) (F(3,106) = 50.494, p<.001), with R2 = 0.588. Furthermore, it showed a significant effect on Users’ satisfaction (US) by Behavioral intention (BI) (F(1,108) = 174.556, p<.001), with R2 = 0.618. In summary, social media was a potential tool for health promotion.


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