mHealth: Study May Show SMS Helpful in Timely Administering of Teen Medication

Teens and text messages are a natural fit. So, as a logical consequence, mHealth professionals are hopeful that mobile devices can spark improved healhcare for young adults, particularly with regard to the administering of asthma medication. Based on the findings of researchers at National Jewish Health, text messages may hold the power to help young …   Read More

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Teens and text messages are a natural fit. So, as a logical consequence, mHealth professionals are hopeful that mobile devices can spark improved healhcare for young adults, particularly with regard to the administering of asthma medication.

Based on the findings of researchers at National Jewish Health, text messages may hold the power to help young asthma patients take their asthma medications more routinely and reliably.

According to the summary of a study highlighted by Health Canal, the research is aiming to determine if text message reminders will improve a typical adolescent’s adherence to medication or other treatment regimens.

“We know that the combination of hectic schedules and less parental supervision can lead many teens to lack consistency in taking their daily asthma medications,” said Daniel Searing, MD, at National Jewish Health. “We also know that most teens text frequently. We want to see if providing them with asthma information and reminders helps with their medication adherence.”

The pilot study is a month-long program with a series of automated text messages that consist of reminders and educational messages. The messages vary from reminders to take medications to tips on how to use their medication and links to the National Jewish Health website where they can learn more information about asthma. One group in the study receives the messages, the other does not receive the texts. At the end of the month researchers will then compare medication adherence between the two groups.

“Other studies have indicated that texting has now become the preferred method by which teens communicate with each other. Our goal in this brief study is to see if teens are receptive to this type of communication from a health care provider and to see if they’re taking their medications more frequently,” said Dr. Searing. “For doctors knowing that patients are taking their medication as prescribed is very important. The more confidence we have that a teen is taking their meds the more accurately we can determine its effectiveness.”

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3 comments

  1. EleanorKrall

    I think that google calendar reminders on android phones and the equivalent for iPhones work in a similar way to text/email alerts and can be kept discreet so that students don't feel stigmatized about having to keep up a medication regimen.

  2. K.G.

    I'm curious if teens respond better to a text reminder than setting their phones to remind them on a regular basis (through the calendar/event reminder feature that phones all have these days).

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