Parent opinions about use of text messaging for immunization reminders.
ABSTRACT Adherence to childhood immunization schedules is a function of various factors. Given the increased use of technology as a strategy to increase immunization coverage, it is important to investigate how parents perceive different forms of communication, including traditional means and text-message reminders.
To examine current forms of communication about immunization information, parents' satisfaction levels with these communication modes, perceived barriers and benefits to using text messaging, and the ideal content of text messages for immunization reminders.
Structured interviews were developed and approved by two Institutional Review Boards. A convenience sample of 50 parents was recruited from two local pediatric clinics. The study included a demographics questionnaire, the shortened form of the Test of Functional Health Literacy for Adults (S-TOFHLA), questions regarding benefits and barriers of text communication from immunization providers, and preferred content for immunization reminders. Content analyses were performed on responses to barriers, benefits, and preferred content (all Cohen's kappas > 0.70).
Respondents were mostly female (45/50, 90%), white non-Hispanic (31/50, 62%), between 20-41 years (mean = 29, SD 5), with one or two children (range 1-9). Nearly all (48/50, 96%) had an S-TOFHLA score in the "adequate" range. All parents (50/50, 100%) engaged in face-to-face contact with their child's physician at appointments, 74% (37/50) had contact via telephone, and none of the parents (0/50, 0%) used email or text messages. Most parents were satisfied with the face-to-face (48/50, 96%) and telephone (28/50, 75%) communication. Forty-nine of the 50 participants (98%) were interested in receiving immunization reminders by text message, and all parents (50/50, 100%) were willing to receive general appointment reminders by text message. Parents made 200 comments regarding text-message reminders. Benefits accounted for 63.5% of comments (127/200). The remaining 37.5% (73/200) regarded barriers; however, no barriers could be identified by 26% of participants (13/50). Parents made 172 comments regarding preferred content of text-message immunization reminders. The most frequently discussed topics were date due (50/172, 29%), general reminder (26/172, 26%), and child's name (21/172, 12%).
Most parents were satisfied with traditional communication; however, few had experienced any alternative forms of communication regarding immunizations. Benefits of receiving text messages for immunization reminders far outweighed the barriers identified by parents. Few barriers identified were text specific. Those that were, centered on cost if parents did not have unlimited texting plans.
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ABSTRACT: Background Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) are still a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In high and middle-income settings, immunization coverage is relatively high. However, in many countries coverage rates of routinely recommended vaccines are still below the targets established by international and national advisory committees. Progress in the field of communication technology might provide useful tools to enhance immunization strategies. Objective To systematically collect and summarize the available evidence on the effectiveness of interventions that apply new media to promote vaccination uptake and increase vaccination coverage. Design We conducted a systematic literature review. Studies published from January 1999 to September 2013 were identified by searching electronic resources (Pubmed, Embase), manual searches of references and expert consultation. Study setting We focused on interventions that targeted recommended vaccinations for children, adolescents and adults and: i) aimed at increasing community demand for immunizations, or ii) were provider-based interventions. We limited the study setting to countries members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Main outcome measures The primary outcome was a measure of vaccination (vaccine uptake or vaccine coverage). Considered secondary outcomes included willingness to receive immunization, attitudes and perceptions toward vaccination, and perceived helpfulness of the intervention. Results Nineteen studies were included in the systematic review. The majority of the studies were conducted in the US (74%, n = 14); 68% (n = 13) of the studies were experimental, the rest having an observational study design. Eleven (58%) reported results on the primary outcome. Retrieved studies explored the role of: text messaging (n.7, 37%), smartphone applications (n.1, 5%), Youtube videos (n.1, 5%), Facebook (n.1, 5%), targeted websites and portals (n.4, 21%), software for physicians and health professionals (n.4, 21%), and email communication (n.1, 5%). There is some evidence that text messaging, accessing immunization campaign websites, using patient-held web-based portals and computerized reminders increase immunization coverage rates. Insufficient evidence is available on the use of social networks, email communication and smartphone applications. Conclusion Although there is great potential for improving vaccine uptake and vaccine coverage by implementing programs and interventions that apply new media, scant data are available and further rigorous research - including cost-effectiveness assessments - is needed.Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics 08/2014; 11(1). DOI:10.4161/hv.34313 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the following among parents of young children: 1) preferences about the source of immunization reminder/recall (R/R) messages, 2) the degree of acceptability of different R/R modalities, and 3) factors that influence preferences, including rural and urban characteristics. We conducted a survey among parents of children 19 to 35 months old who needed ≥1 immunization according to the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS). Equal numbers of urban and rural respondents were randomly selected. Up to 4 surveys were mailed to each parent who had a valid address. After removing invalid addresses, the response rate was 55% (334 of 607). Half of parents (49.7%) had no preference about whether the public health department or their child's doctor sent reminders. Urban parents were more likely to prefer R/R come from their child's doctor (46.7%) compared to rural parents (33.7%), P = .003. Mail was the preferred R/R method (57.7%), then telephone (17.0%), e-mail (12.7%), and text message (10.7%). Although not preferred, 60.1% reported it would be acceptable to receive R/R by e-mail and 46.2% by text message. Factors associated with preferring to receive R/R from their child's doctor were urban residence and educational level of college graduate or greater. A large portion of parents are willing to be reminded about vaccinations by their health department rather than their child's provider and via novel modalities, such as e-mail or text messaging. Urbanicity and higher educational level were associated with preferring that R/R come from a provider.Academic pediatrics 05/2014; 14(3):249-55. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2014.02.003 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The field of pediatric dermatology has been rich in new developments. Part II of this continuing medical education article will focus on new therapeutic modalities for several entities encountered in pediatric dermatology. The treatment of atopic dermatitis, exciting advances in the use of propranolol and other beta-blockers for the use of infantile hemangiomas, the use of rapamycin for vascular anomalies, the use of biologics in children, the central nervous system risks of general anesthesia in young children, side effects in the use of isotretinoin, the treatment of tinea capitis, treatment of herpes simplex infections, and the use of technologies such as texting and social media in medicine will be discussed.Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 06/2013; 68(6):899.e1-899.e11. DOI:10.1016/j.jaad.2013.03.002 · 5.00 Impact Factor