Study: Texting Aids Teens in Disease Management

Texting directives or medical advice to teens with chronic illnesses can help them better manage their condition, according to a study in Pediatrics.

In the study involving 81 teens, those in the intervention group were sent multiple text messages a week containing personalized information on how to manage their symptoms. Those in the MD2Me texting program could then respond to the messages and contact their clinicians with questions or health concerns. Teens in the control group received the same information either through posted mail or email.

After eight months, researchers saw a significant improvement among the MD2Me participants in symptom management, engagement in their care and patient-initiated provider contact.

"One of the frustrations that many of us face is that teens come in and don't particularly communicate well with us, and we often hear about their problems and issues through their parents," lead study author Jeannie S. Huang, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at UCSD, told KPBS. The texting program, she said, improved direct communication with teens and helped them become more involved in their care.

More Articles on Texting:

11 Statistics on Pediatric Physician to Physician Texting Use
How do Physicians Use, Plan to Use mHealth? 14 Findings
UnitedHealthcare Launches Text Message-Based Wellness Programs in Pennsylvania

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