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Knowledge, attitudes and intention regarding mHealth in generation Y: evidence from a population based cross sectional study in Chakaria, Bangladesh
  1. M Shafiqur Rahman1,
  2. Syed Hanifi2,
  3. Fatema Khatun2,
  4. Mohammad Iqbal2,
  5. Sabrina Rasheed2,
  6. Tanvir Ahmed2,3,
  7. Shahidul Hoque2,
  8. Tamanna Sharmin2,
  9. Nazib-Uz Zaman Khan2,
  10. Shehrin Shaila Mahmood2,
  11. Abbas Bhuiya4
  1. 1 Institute of Statistical Research and Training, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2 Health System and Population Studies Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  3. 3 Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
  4. 4 Partners in Population and Development, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  1. Correspondence to Dr M Shafiqur Rahman; shafiq{at}


Background and objectives mHealth offers a new opportunity to ensure access to qualified healthcare providers. Therefore, to better understand its potential in Bangladesh, it is important to understand how young people use mobile phones for healthcare. Here we examine the knowledge, attitudes and intentions to use mHealth services among young population.

Design Population based cross sectional household survey.

Setting and participants A total of 4909 respondents, aged 18 years and above, under the Chakaria Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) area, were interviewed during the period November 2012 to April 2013.

Methods Participants younger than 30 years of age were defined as young (or generation Y). To examine the level of knowledge about and intention towards mHealth services in generation Y compared with their older counterparts, the percentage of the respective outcome measure from a 2×2 contingency table and adjusted odds ratio (aOR), which controls for potential confounders such as mobile ownership, sex, education, occupation and socioeconomic status, were estimated. The aOR was estimated using both the Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel approach and multivariable logistic regression models controlling for confounders.

Results Generation Y had significantly greater access to mobile phones (50%vs40%) and better knowledge about its use for healthcare (37.8%vs27.5%;aOR 1.6 (95% CI1.3 to 2.0)). Furthermore, the level of knowledge about two existing mHealth services in generation Y was significantly higher compared with their older counterparts, with aOR values of 3.2 (95% CI 2.6 to 5.5) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.8), respectively. Similarly, generation Y showed significantly greater intention towards future use of mHealth services compared with their older counterparts (aOR 1.3 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.4)). The observed associations were not modified by sociodemographic factors.

Conclusion There is a greater potential for mHealth services in the future among young people compared with older age groups. However, given the low overall use of mHealth, appropriate policy measures need to be formulated to enhance availability, access, utilisation and effectiveness of mHealth services.

  • mobile phone
  • healthcare
  • generation Y

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  • Contributors Conceived and design the experiments: AB, MSR, SyedH, FK, MI, SR, TA, SH, TS, NZK and SSM. Performed the experiment: MI, TA and SH. Analyzed the data: MSR, SyedH and AB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: AB, MSR and SyedH. Wrote the paper: MSR, AB and FK. Critical review, input and revision of the manuscript: MSR, AB, FK and SR. Critical review and final approval of the manuscript: MSR, SyedH, FK, MI, SR, TA, SH, TS, NZK, SSM and AB.

  • Funding This research study was funded by UKaid [UK] grant No UKaid/PO: 5457.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data underlying the findings in this paper are freely available upon request, subject to adherence to ICDDR,B data sharing policy ( Requests for data can be sent to