Using Text Reminder to Improve Childhood Immunization Adherence in the Philippines

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Abstract

A comparative descriptive study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of text messages with pictures compared with plain text messages or verbal reminders in improving measles, mumps, and rubella immunization compliance in the rural areas of the Philippines. We found that text messaging with or without pictures is a feasible and useful tool in measles, mumps, rubella immunization compliance for childhood immunization. Texting with pictures (n = 23), however, was no more effective than plain text messaging (n = 19) or verbal reminder (n = 17) in improving measles, mumps, and rubella immunization compliance. Compared with parents who received verbal reminders alone, either type of text reminders was linked to parents bringing their child for measles, mumps, and rubella immunization on a timelier basis, as defined by the difference between the scheduled visit and the actual visit, although this was not statistically significant. Mobile technology that uses text reminders for immunization can potentially improve the communication process between parent, the public health nurse, and healthcare provider. Future studies can explore the application of plain text messages or text messages with pictures to improve compliance more broadly for maternal and child healthcare especially in rural areas of developing countries and may be a helpful tool for health promotion for this population.

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