MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Nadim Mahmud, MD, MS, MPH
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Colonoscopy is an effective screening technique for colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention, but many patients either do not show up or have poor bowel preparation for the procedure. There are many contributors to this issue, including challenges with colonoscopy bowel preparations and communication barriers between healthcare systems and their patients. To address this, we performed a pilot of 21 patients using automated text messages sent over the course of one week prior to scheduled colonoscopy. These messages included instructional, educational, and reminder messages regarding aspects of the colonoscopy preparation process.
We found significantly improved colonoscopy adherence among patients who received the text message program as compared to routine care controls (90% versus 62%). Furthermore, patient satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the text messaging program was high. Similar texting programs are simple to create and manage, and should be considered to improve outpatient colonoscopy adherence.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Timely text messages from the healthcare system can simplify the bowel preparation process, and are likely to help patients successfully complete their colonoscopy.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Randomized controlled trials, including one being undertaken at our institution, will help to further evaluate the impact of automated text messaging in improving colonoscopy adherence and bowel preparation. Future studies might also consider testing different types of messages, with variations in content, timing, and incorporation of links and images.
Nadim Mahmud, MD, MS, MPH1, Sahil Doshi1, Mary Coniglio, MBA1, Michelle Clermont, MD1, Donna Bernard, MSN2, Catherine Reitz, MPH3, Vandana Khungar, MD, MSc1, David A. Asch, MD, MBA3, Shivan J. Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP3
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