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Received: 2007-09-02

Revision Accepted: 2007-11-21

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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 2008 Vol.9 No.1 P.34-38


Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial

Author(s):  Zhou-wen CHEN, Li-zheng FANG, Li-ying CHEN, Hong-lei DAI

Affiliation(s):  Department of General Practice, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310016, China

Corresponding email(s):   dhl_2003@hotmail.com

Key Words:  Reminder, Short messaging service (SMS), Telephone, Failure to attend (FTA), Randomized controlled trial (RCT)

Zhou-wen CHEN, Li-zheng FANG, Li-ying CHEN, Hong-lei DAI. Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 2008, 9(1): 34-38.

@article{title="Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial",
author="Zhou-wen CHEN, Li-zheng FANG, Li-ying CHEN, Hong-lei DAI",
journal="Journal of Zhejiang University Science B",
publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

%0 Journal Article
%T Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial
%A Zhou-wen CHEN
%A Li-zheng FANG
%A Li-ying CHEN
%A Hong-lei DAI
%J Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B
%V 9
%N 1
%P 34-38
%@ 1673-1581
%D 2008
%I Zhejiang University Press & Springer
%DOI 10.1631/jzus.B071464

T1 - Comparison of an SMS text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance at a health promotion center: A randomized controlled trial
A1 - Zhou-wen CHEN
A1 - Li-zheng FANG
A1 - Li-ying CHEN
A1 - Hong-lei DAI
J0 - Journal of Zhejiang University Science B
VL - 9
IS - 1
SP - 34
EP - 38
%@ 1673-1581
Y1 - 2008
PB - Zhejiang University Press & Springer
ER -
DOI - 10.1631/jzus.B071464

Objective: To compare the efficacy of a short messaging service (SMS) text messaging and phone reminder to improve attendance rates at a health promotion center. Methods: 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. Results: 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). Conclusion: 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.

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


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