Health Care Workers in Kenya Proved that Text Messaging Affects Compliance of HIV Patients

By on Nov 11, 2010 in Africa, Cellphone, Health, Science, Technology, World Comments

Through a study, health care workers in Kenya proved that text messaging affects HIV patients’ compliance to their drug treatment, as published on Medical News Today on Wednesday. The experiment was conducted among 538 patients treated for HIV.

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Out of the 538, 273 received text messages through short message services or SMS asking how they are. The control group of 265 patients did not receive the SMS, but were given the standard care. The success rate was 62% for the SMS intervention group and 50% for the standard care group.

They used slogans to facilitate communication. The health care workers send a text message “Mambo”, “How are you?” to the experimental group and then the HIV patients reply within 48 hours with either “Sawa”, “I’m doing well,” or “Shida”, “I have a problem.”

The study proved that cellphone communication helped in the treatment and monitoring of HIV patients regarding their drug adherence and suppression of plasma HIV-1 RNA load. The HIV patients were undergoing antiretroviral therapy.

The report was written by Dr. Richard Lester of the University of British Columbia and has earned a slot at the 2010 Health Summit in Washington, DC.

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