Text Messages Improved Colonoscopy Adherence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nadim Mahmud, MD, MS, MPH Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Mahmud

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. 

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Text Messaging May Help Diabetics Improve Glycemic Control

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D. Corporate Vice President Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, a subsidiary of Scripps HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D.
Corporate Vice President
Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, a subsidiary of Scripps Health

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Philis-Tsimikas: Findings from the Dulce Digital study suggest that a text message-based self-management intervention improves glycemic control in high risk Latinos with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers recruited 126 Latinos with type 2 diabetes and HbA1c greater than 7.5% from federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) that serve disadvantaged populations to investigate the impact of a diabetes self-management intervention delivered via mobile text messaging. Cell phones were provided to patients who did not have them, along with text messaging instructions.

Patients were randomized after completing clinical and self-reported measurements at baseline and these assessments were then repeated at 3 and 6 months. Both Dulce Digital and control groups received usual care.   The Dulce Digital group received three types of text messages — educational and motivational; medication reminders; and blood glucose monitoring prompts — two to three messages each day initially, with frequency tapering over 6 months. Project Dulce staff then monitored blood glucose responses, assessed reasons for hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and encouraged follow up with providers as needed.

Still ongoing, the current analyses included 106 completed participants (mean age= 49.25±9.49 years, 74% female), 52 of which were Dulce Digital participants. Findings showed significantly greater decreases in HbA1c with text messages compared with usual care only (9.4% to 8.4%, vs. 9.5% to 9.3%, P<.05) at 6 month follow-up. No significant group differences, however, have been observed for lipids, weight or blood pressure.
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