Study: Daily Text Messages Improved Medication Adherence Among Diabetics

Daily text message reminders sent to diabetic patients following emergency department treatment led to increased medication adherence, according to a study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of 128 adults who visited Los Angeles County Hospital's ED for treatment related to poorly controlled diabetes. Patients in the intervention group received two daily text messages in their preferred language for six months following their ED visit. The text messages alternated between educational messages, medication reminders, healthy living challenges and diabetes-related trivia.

The largest change observed by the researchers was in increase in self-reported medication adherence in the intervention group, which was the most pronounced among Spanish speakers. Researchers also found patients in the intervention group tended to use ED services less frequently and reported a better quality of life. Results also showed a decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin among the intervention group members of 1.05 percent compared to a decrease of 0.6 percent in the control group, though these results did not show a statistically significant improvement.

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