Sending text messages with blood sugar measurement prompts and appointment reminders could help patients with diabetes better manage their condition, according to a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, CMIO reports.
For the study, researchers from the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health sent cell phone text message prompts over a three-month period to patients receiving diabetes care at a federally-qualified community health center in Denver.
The researchers sent blood sugar reading requests three times per week, as well as three appointment reminders during the weeks leading up to each appointment.
Researchers found that:
- 79% of study participants responded to more than half of the prompts; and
- 66% provided glucose readings when prompted by a text message.
Patients receiving the text messages also reported increased accountability, social support and awareness of health information, according to the study.
The researchers concluded that text messaging could enhance chronic disease management and patient-physician communication (Walsh, CMIO, 2/28).