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BACKGROUND: Maternal and child health (MCH)-related mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular among pregnant women; however, few apps have demonstrated that they lead to improvements in pregnancy outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the use of MCH apps among pregnant women in China and explore associations with pregnancy outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted at 6 MCH hospitals in northern China. Women who delivered a singleton baby at >28 weeks' gestation at the study hospitals were sequentially recruited from postnatal wards from October 2017 to January 2018. Information was collected on the women's self-reported MCH app use during their pregnancy, along with clinical outcomes. Women were categorized as nonusers of MCH apps and users (further divided into intermittent users and continuous users). The primary outcome was a composite adverse pregnancy outcome (CAPO) comprising preterm birth, birth weight <2500 g, birth defects, stillbirth, and neonatal asphyxia. The association between app use and CAPO was explored using multivariable logistic analysis. RESULTS: The 1850 participants reported using 127 different MCH apps during pregnancy. App use frequency was reported as never, 24.7% (457/1850); intermittent, 47.4% (876/1850); and continuous, 27.9% (517/1850). Among app users, the most common reasons for app use were health education (1393/1393, 100%), self-monitoring (755/1393, 54.2%), and antenatal appointment reminders (602/1393, 43.2%). Nonusers were older, with fewer years of education, lower incomes, and higher parity (P

Original publication




Journal article


JMIR Form Res

Publication Date





mHealth, maternal and child health, mobile apps, pregnancy outcomes, retrospective study