Daily informational text messages could help improve health outcomes among children with asthma, according to a study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, FierceMobileHealthcare reports.
The study’s findings were presented this week during the 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
The study involved 30 children ages 10 to 17 who owned a mobile phone and could read at a fifth-grade level or higher. All of the children had asthma and were patients of a private pediatric pulmonology clinic in Atlanta.
Researchers divided the children into three groups:
- A control group that did not receive text messages;
- A group that received text messages every other day; and
- A group that received daily text messages.
The text messages provided information about asthma or asked children questions about their symptoms.
After four months, researchers found that children in the two groups that received text messages responded 87% of the time. They also found that the average response time was 22 minutes.
At the end of the study, researchers found that children who received the daily text messages had improved clinical outcomes compared with children in the other two groups (Slabodkin, FierceMobileHealthcare, 5/2).
Rosa Arriaga — lead author and a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech — said, “It appears that text messages acted as an implicit reminder for patients to take their medicine, and by the end of the study, the kids were more in tune with their illness” (Medical News Today, 5/2).