Editorial: mHealth Interventions for Improving Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
Johnson AK, Enaholo O, Stranix-Chibanda L, Partridge SR.
Gaps in adolescent sexual and reproductive health have led to the development, implementation, and evaluation of alternative methods to impact health outcomes for young people. With the current proliferation of technology, researchers see the use of mobile health (mHealth) as a vital tool in reaching adolescents and facilitating behavior change among this population. mHealth can be described as a subcategory of electronic health (eHealth), specifically delivered on mobile and wireless technologies to support interventions (1). The use of mHealth has shown to be promising in addressing several barriers that impact the sexual and reproductive health of young people. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the limitations set on social interactions and limited access to traditional, in-person health services stand as a major barrier for adolescents to promote their health. With an increase in smartphone usage globally, mHealth can benefit young people as it capitalizes on a familiar medium and mode of communication. mHealth via mobile phones is a particularly salient approach in sub-Saharan Africa, as mobile phone ownership among adolescents is >77% and internet penetration is high in many countries (2). This Editorial introduces three manuscripts published as a collection in response to the Research Topic: mHealth Interventions for Improving Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. These projects, all based in sub-Saharan Africa, present different approaches to using mHealth as a driver of positive change for the sexual and reproductive health for young people, with an emphasis on adolescent populations affected by HIV.