Text message-based health interventions

Program basics

  • Provide patients with reminders, education, or self-management assistance
  • Can be used with a broad spectrum of health conditions
  • Most frequently a component of broader health promotion efforts or for individual management of chronic disease

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

Community-wide

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Improved health and weight outcomes and increases in healthy behaviors
  • Improved health outcomes for adolescents with chronic conditions
  • Increased vaccinations
  • Can increase medication adherence

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Community engagement is necessary to accurately assess the needs of target populations and create successful messaging strategies.
  • Text messages are often more effective when they prioritize a specific goal, like providing information, creating referrals, reminding patients of appointments, etc.
  • Program staff should have the capacity to maintain contact information and address follow-ups or answer questions from the community to maintain trust and fidelity throughout the program.
  • Text messages that apply to broader populations, like addressing vaccination, childcare, and sexual health programs, should be available in different languages.
  • Similar to mobile health applications, data privacy of participants should be a top priority in order to gain trust and increase participation.

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