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MANTRA: development and localization of a mobile educational health game targeting low literacy players in low and middle income countries

Mueller, S; Soriano, D; Boscor, A; Saville, N; Arjyal, A; Baral, S; Fordham, M; ... Kostkova, P; + view all (2020) MANTRA: development and localization of a mobile educational health game targeting low literacy players in low and middle income countries. BMC Public Health , 20 (1) , Article 1171. 10.1186/s12889-020-09246-8. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mobile technology is increasingly important for delivering public health interventions to remote populations. This research study developed, piloted, and assessed a serious game for mobile devices that teaches geohazard, maternal, and neonatal health messages. This unique mHealth intervention aimed at low-literacy audiences in low resource settings is part of the Maternal and Neonatal Technologies in Rural Areas (MANTRA) project: Increasing maternal and child health resilience before, during, and after disasters using mobile technology in Nepal. METHODS: The serious game was developed through a co-creation process between London and Kathmandu based researchers by email and video-calling, and face-to-face with local stakeholders in Nepal. The process identified core needs, developed appropriate pictograms and mechanics, and tailored the pilot serious game to the local cultural context. Evaluations and feedback from end users took place in rural villages and suburban Kathmandu in Province Three. Field evaluation sessions used mixed methods. Researchers observed game play and held focus group discussions to elicit qualitative feedback and understand engagement, motivation, and usability, and conducted a paired pre- and post-game knowledge assessment. RESULTS: The MANTRA serious game is contextualized to rural Nepal. The game teaches 28 learning objectives in three modules: maternal health, neonatal health, and geohazards, through picture matching with immediate audio and visual feedback. User feedback from focus groups demonstrated high engagement, motivation, and usability of the game. CONCLUSIONS: This MANTRA study is a unique mHealth intervention of a serious game to teach core health and geohazards messages to low-literacy audiences in rural Nepal. Although the mobile game is tailored for this specific context, the developmental process and insights could be transferable to the development of other games-based interventions and contextualized for any part of the world. Successfully targeting this low-literacy and illiterate audience makes the MANTRA development process the first of its kind and a novel research endeavor with potential for widespread impact and adoption following further game development. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This project was approved by the University College London Ethics Committee in London, United Kingdom [10547/001], and the Nepal Health Research Council in Kathmandu, Nepal [Reg. No. 105/2017]. All participants provided informed written consent.

Type: Article
Title: MANTRA: development and localization of a mobile educational health game targeting low literacy players in low and middle income countries
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-09246-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09246-8
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Educational game, Serious game, mHealth
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107889
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