Feasibility and acceptability of Mobile SMS reminders as a Strategy to improve drugs adherence in TB Patietns
Keywords:Tuberculosis, Tuberculosis treatment, Compliance, Mobile phone, SMS, Text messages
AbstractBackground: Tuberculosis (TB) treatment adherence remains a challenge. Mobile text messaging has the potential to improve patients' compliance with TB treatment, but acceptability and feasibility of this strategy has not been evaluated in our set-up.Objective: To study the acceptability and feasibility of SMS-reminder in patients taking anti-TB drugs.Methods: It was a randomized controlled trial, conducted from June 2014 to June 2015, in two centres: Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar and Emergency Satellite Hospital Nahaqi. Patients enrolled for anti-TB drugs were distributed in intervention and control groups; daily mobile SMS reminders (intervention) were sent to patients of intervention group during initial 2 months of treatment (on top of usual DOTS) Feasibility was assessed at the time of enrolment of patients and acceptability of SMS-reminders was assessed by semi-structured questionnaire based interview after 2 months of anti-TB treatment.Results: One hundred and forty-eight (148) patients were enrolled: 74 patients in each group; the demographics of both groups were comparable: Study was found to be feasible to conduct, as all patients had access to SMS reminders: either via personal mobile phones (94% of male patients) or via one of their family members (81% female patients). Most of the patients found it acceptable and helpful and were feeling good about it. Only 2.7% patients were not feeling good about SMS reminders, as they were unable to understand the message.Conclusion: We found SMS-intervention feasible and acceptable for participants in our set-up.