Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
To compare the efficacy of a short messaging service (SMS) text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance rates at a health promotion center.
A total of 1 859 participants who had scheduled appointments in the health promotion center of our hospital from April 2007 to May 2007 were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned into 3 groups: control (no reminder) group, SMS text messaging reminder group and telephone reminder group. Attendance rates and costs of interventions were collected.
A total of 1848 participants were eligible for analysis. Attendance rates of control, SMS and telephone groups were 80.5%, 87.5% and 88.3%, respectively. The attendance rates were significantly higher in SMS and telephone groups than that in the control group, with odds ratio 1.698, 95% confidence interval 1.224 to 2.316, P=0.001 in the SMS group, and odds ratio 1.829, 95% confidence interval 1.333 to 2.509, P<0.001 in the telephone group. However, there was no difference between the SMS group and the telephone group (P=0.670). The cost effectiveness analysis showed that the cost per attendance for the SMS group (0.31 Yuan) was significantly lower than that for the telephone group (0.48 Yuan).
SMS and telephone are effective reminders for improving attendance rate at a health promotion center. SMS reminder may be more cost-effective compared with the telephone reminder.
- Battistotti, A., Quaglini, S., Cuoco, E., 2006. Reducing dropouts in outpatient care through an SMS-based system. Stud. Health Technol. Inf., 124:935–940.
- Can, S., Macfarlane, T., O’Brien, K.D., 2003. The use of postal reminders to reduce non-attendance at an orthodontic clinic: a randomised controlled trial. Br. Dent. J., 195(4): 199–201 (Discussion in p. 196). [doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.4810443] CrossRef
- Downer, S.R., Meara, J.G., Da Costa, A.C., Sethuraman, K., 2006. SMS text messaging improves outpatient attendance. Aust. Health Rev., 30(3):389–396. CrossRef
- Geraghty, M., Glynn, F., Amin, M., Kinsella, J., 2007. Patient mobile telephone ‘text’ reminder: a novel way to reduce non-attendance at the ENT out-patient clinic. J. Laryngol. Otol., 1:1–3.
- Haynes, J.M., Sweeney, E.L., 2006. The effect of telephone appointment-reminder calls on outpatient absenteeism in a pulmonary function laboratory. Respir. Care, 51(1):36–39.
- Irigoyen, M.M., Findley, S., Earle, B., Stambaugh, K., Vaughan, R., 2000. Impact of appointment reminders on vaccination coverage at an urban clinic. Pediatrics, 106(4 Suppl.):919–923.
- Jibaja-Weiss, M.L., Volk, R.J., Smith, Q.W., Holcomb, J.D., Kingery, P., 2005. Differential effects of messages for breast and cervical cancer screening. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 16(1):42–52. [doi:10.1353/hpu.2005.0018] CrossRef
- Lee, C.S., McCormick, P.A., 2003. Telephone reminders to reduce non-attendance rate for endoscopy. J. R. Soc. Med., 96(11):547–548. [doi:10.1258/jrsm.96.11.547] CrossRef
- Leong, K.C., Chen, W.S., Leong, K.W., Mastura, I., Mimi, O., Sheikh, M.A., Zailinawati, A.H., Ng, C.J., Phua, K.L., Teng, C.L., 2006. The use of text messaging to improve attendance in primary care: a randomized controlled trial. Fam. Pract., 23(6):699–705. [doi:10.1093/fampra/cml044] Martin, C., Perfect, T., Mantle, G., 2005. Non-attendance in primary care: the views of patients and practices on its causes, impact and solutions. Fam. Pract., 22(6):638–643. [doi:10.1093/fampra/cmi076] CrossRef
- Maxwell, S., Maljanian, R., Horowitz, S., Pianka, M.A., Cabrera, Y., Greene, J., 2001. Effectiveness of reminder systems on appointment adherence rates. J. Health Care Poor Underserved, 12(4):504–514.
- May, H., Hearn, G., 2005. The mobile phone as media. Int. J. Cult. Stud., 8(2):195–211. [doi:10.1177/1367877905052417] CrossRef
- Mayer, J.A., Lewis, E.C., Slymen, D.J., Dullum, J., Kurata, H., Holbrook, A., Elder, J.P., Williams, S.J., 2000. Patient reminder letters to promote annual mammograms: a randomized controlled trial. Prev. Med., 31(4):315–322. [doi:10.1006/pmed.2000.0718] CrossRef
- Milne, R.G., Horne, M., Torsney, B., 2006. SMS reminders in the UK national health service: an evaluation of its impact on “no-shows” at hospital out-patient clinics. Health Care Manage Rev., 31(2):130–136.
- Murdock, A., Rodgers, C., Lindsay, H., Tham, T.C., 2002. Why do patients not keep their appointments? Prospective study in a gastroenterology outpatient clinic. J. R. Soc. Med., 95(6):284–286. [doi:10.1258/jrsm.95.6.284] CrossRef
- Neal, R.D., Hussain-Gambles, M., Allgar, V.L., Lawlor, D.A., Dempsey, O., 2005. Reasons for and consequences of missed appointments in general practice in the UK: questionnaire survey and prospective review of medical records. BMC Fam. Pract., 6(1):47. [doi:10.1186/1471-2296-6-47] CrossRef
- Reti, S., 2003. Improving outpatient department efficiency: a randomized controlled trial comparing hospital and general-practice telephone reminders. N. Z. Med. J., 116(1175):U458.
- Roberts, N., Meade, K., Partridge, M., 2007. The effect of telephone reminders on attendance in respiratory outpatient clinics. J. Health Serv. Res. Policy, 12(2):69–72. [doi:10.1258/135581907780279567] CrossRef
- Shoffner, J., Staudt, M., Marcus, S., Kapp, S., 2007. Using telephone reminders to increase attendance at psychiatric appointments: findings of a pilot study in rural Appalachia. Psychiatr. Serv., 58(6):872–875. [doi:10.1176/appi.ps.58.6.872] CrossRef
- Thomas, D., 2004. Postal reminders can improve attendance at orthodontic clinics. Evid. Based Dent., 5(1):14. [doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400244] CrossRef
- Virtanen, V., Sirkiä, T., Jokiranta, V., 2007. Reducing nonresponse by SMS reminders in mail surveys. Soc. Sci. Comput. Rev., 25(3):384–395. [doi:10.1177/0894439307299588] CrossRef
- Zailinawati, A.H., Ng, C.J., Nik-Sherina, H., 2006. Why do patients with chronic illnesses fail to keep their appointments? A telephone interview. Asia Pac. J. Public Health, 18(1):10–15. [doi:10.1177/10105395060180010301] CrossRef
- Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial
Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B
Volume 9, Issue 1 , pp 34-38
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Zhejiang University Press
- Additional Links
- Short messaging service (SMS)
- Failure to attend (FTA)
- Randomized controlled trial (RCT)