Mobile technology use, including Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messaging, has increased in health care services. Preferences regarding the type or timing of text messages sent by healthcare providers to people with antipsychotic medication have not yet been fully investigated. This study examines the relationship between patients' demographic characteristics and the tailored messages they select.
The study ("Mobile.Net", ISRCTN: 27704027) includes a structured analysis of a random sub-sample of participants who received messages for 12months. The data were collected in 24 sites and 45 psychiatric hospitals in Finland and analyzed with descriptive statistics and Poisson regression models. The study sample involved 562 people on antipsychotic medication, and a total of 2112 text messages (2 to 25 monthly) were analysed.
Regarding message content, there was no significant variation in the proportions relating to 'medication', 'treatment appointments' or 'free time'. Monday was the most popular day to receive messages and morning was preferred to later in the day. Age was most closely associated with 'number of messages' and 'time of messages'.
Older women and younger men preferred higher numbers of messages (p=0.0031). Participants preferred positive, encouraging and slightly humorous messages.
The findings suggest that messages may be acceptable for difficult to access groups in follow-up. This type of intervention may be useful for various types of patients especially for younger males. To further support the evidence about factors related to message utilization and use, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of text messages in psychiatric care.
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