Table 1

Summary of the implications of our key discussion points

Key discussion pointsImplications
There is a large overlap between the primary studies included in the systematic reviews but little overlap in their allocation to intervention categories.Potential for misclassification. Further research is required to determine more robust classification categories.
As a result, there seems to be little agreement between reviews regarding what type of interventions can directly facilitate CHWs’ education and training and how such learning can be defined.There is not a coherent evidence base due to a lack of primary studies explicitly detailing the role of their interventions in learning and training.
We used educational research to develop a refined coding toolThe coding tool we used is available in online supplementary material 6. Details of the theories it is based on is available in online supplementary material 7.
The tool was designed to be refined as the evidence base develops.
The need to produce evidence on how mobile technology can support reflective and interactive forms of CHWs’ education and training, particularly coaching, supervision and mentoring, remain critically neglected overall.A new interdisciplinary research agenda on training and education in mHealth that builds on existing global health research and moves away from information dissemination model of learning is needed.
Focus on the developmental needs of CHWs to improve their practice.Targeted training approaches that use new technologies in innovative ways to promote CHWs’ CPD are required. In particular, theories of work-based learning need to be better implemented.
The review has highlighted the need for more evidence on the precise nature of CHWs’ education and training that can be supported by mHealth interventions.CHWs’ decision support tools would have the means to offer insights into CHWs’ learning, but studies generally do not explore learning aspects of these tools. At most, learning is seen as a positive by-product. We argue that primary studies should include better documentation of learning practices where applicable.
  • CHWs, community health workers; CPD, continued professional development; mHealth, mobile health.