Text message-based health interventions

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help residents access health services. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

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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