The Text4baby program is highly effective at encouraging women to talk to their doctors, remember appointments and take other healthy steps, according to a small study of program participants, Fierce Mobile Healthcare reports (Jackson, Fierce Mobile Healthcare, 11/17).
The Text4baby program was launched in 2010 by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. The program provides pregnant women and new mothers with no-cost text messages about pregnancy and infant care (iHealthBeat, 10/17).
For the study -- which was funded by the Alliance Healthcare Foundation -- researchers from the University of California-San Diego and California State University-San Marcos surveyed 160 California women in person or over the phone.
The study found that:
- Nearly 75% of participants said the Text4baby program alerted them to medical warning signs in their pregnancies that they otherwise would not have recognized;
- More than 70% of participants said the text messages prompted them to discuss certain topics with their physicians; and
- 63% of participants said the messages helped them remember appointments and ensure that they received proper immunizations.
The study also found that Spanish-speaking women were more satisfied with the Text4baby program than English speakers.
Hilary Chen -- senior adviser to the deputy director for policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy -- said HHS is studying ways to evaluate the program at the national level (Fierce Mobile Healthcare, 11/17).