Analysis Finds Most Text Message Health Interventions Successful

March 27, 2015 in News

Most published studies find that text message interventions addressing chronic disease self-management, disease prevention and health promotion are effective, according to an analysis of studies published in the Annual Review of Public Health, MobiHealthNews reports.

Details of Analysis

For the analysis, the authors assessed 15 reviews of 228 text message intervention studies. The studies examined:

  • Diabetes self-management;
  • Medication adherence;
  • Physical activity;
  • Smoking cessation; and
  • Weight loss.

The studies were published between 2009 and 2014 and ranged from 10 to 5,800 participants.


Five of the 15 reviews found that text message interventions focused on general disease prevention and health promotion resulted in “statistically significant positive effects on health outcomes and/or behaviors.”

Another five reviews found that interventions focused on medication adherence had positive outcomes when using “varied and motivational content,” while those that used “basic and repetitive SMS content” had no differences in outcomes.

Meanwhile, one of the reviews found that mobile interventions increased long-term smoking cessation rates.

Other reviews of studies that focused on diet, physical activity and weight loss mobile interventions found that some resulted in participants:

  • Increasing physical activity levels;
  • Losing an average of seven times more weight than a control group;
  • Reducing blood pressure; and
  • Reducing body mass index (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 3/26).
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