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Tag: text messaging

Black Women are Open to Mental Health Services Via Mobile Technology

Article Excerpt: Using survey data on patient attitudes toward mental health services and depression screening, a new study indicated that Black American Women are comfortable with using voice or video calls to communicate with mental health providers. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that about one in ten women in the United States have experienced depression symptoms within the last year. The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), also indicated that Black American women are commonly affected by depression. While discrimination, financial issues, and chronic conditions may contribute to this, various factors prevent Black women from obtaining care. These may include stigmatization, limited access, or insurance complications.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


Text Messages Exchanged Between Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder and Their mHealth e-Coaches: Content Analysis Study

Ranjit Y, Davis W, Fentem A, Riordan R, Roscoe R, Cavazos-Rehg P. Text Messages Exchanged Between Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder and Their mHealth e-Coaches: Content Analysis Study. JMIR Hum Factors 2023;10:e37351 DOI: 10.2196/37351

The aim of this study was to understand the text messaging communication between persons undergoing opioid use disorder (OUD) recovery and their e-coaches. The study was part of a larger mHealth intervention study called “uMAT-R”, which is a support mobile app to improve OUD treatment adherence and recovery. The uMAT-R app provides instant in-app messaging with a recovery support e-coach. Participants were recruited from various OUD recovery programs in St. Louis and were eligible if they had a formal OUD diagnosis and were currently receiving treatment. For this content analysis, messages from 70 participants were coded for emotional support, informational support, and material support (services and resources that help solve practical issues). Messages were also coded for treatment and recovery domains and problems related to mobile app usage. On average, the number of messages exchanged between participants and e-coaches was 17 (SD=16.05) and 90% of conversations were initiated by e-coaches. Emotional support was most commonly identified in conversations (196 occurrences), followed by material support (110 occurrences). For OUD treatment content, messages about OUD recovery and opioid use risk factors occurred the most (N=72), followed by motivation to avoid drug use (N=47). Depression was significantly associated with social support related messages (r=0.27, p=0.02). Overall, findings demonstrate that people in OUD recovery seek social support and relapse prevention support when provided online communication with their health care providers. Due to the need for continuous interpersonal support as part of addiction care, instant two-way text messaging could be a cost-effective and sustainable tool to support OUD recovery.


Translating Violence Prevention Programs from Research to Practice: SafERteens Implementation in an Urban Emergency Department

Carter PM, Cunningham RM, Eisman AB, Resnicow K, Roche JS, Cole JT, Goldstick J, Kilbourne AM, & Walton MA. (2022). Translating Violence Prevention Programs from Research to Practice: SafERteens Implementation in an Urban Emergency Department. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 62(1), 109–124.

This study examined the translation of SafERteens, an evidence-based violence prevention program, into clinical care. Implementation of the program was piloted in an emergency department (ED) hospital setting with youth (14-18 years old) who screened positive for recent aggression during an ED visit. Youth participants were randomized to SafERteens (delivered remotely by study therapists or in-person by hospital staff) or enhanced usual care. The SafERteens intervention is a 30–45-minute brief behavioral intervention that integrates motivational interviewing for cognitive behavioral strategies. Participants also received an optional 2-month tailored text messaging program on self-efficacy, reminders on their goals, and tools to avoid violence. Data was collected from hospital staff on implementation facilitators and barriers using the RE-AIM framework. SafERteens completion rate was found to be 77.6% for remote delivery and 49.1% for in-person delivery. The SafERteens and tailored text messaging demonstrated high acceptability among youth; 84.9% of participants found it helpful. After the intervention, participants reported increased self-efficacy to avoid fighting and decreased pro-violence attitudes compared to baseline. Hospital staff reported a number of barriers to implementation such as limited staff availability and lack of reimbursement for staff time to conduct intervention delivery. Remote delivery of SafERteens can be a promising strategy to overcome resource limitations. Results demonstrate that policymakers should continue to expand reimbursement mechanisms in hospitals for violence screening and interventions.


A WeChat-based smoking cessation intervention for Chinese smokers: a feasibility study

Luo T, Li MS, Williams D, Fritz J, Beiter K, Phillippi S, Yu Q, Kantrow S, Chen L, Chen Y, & Tseng TS. (2022). A WeChat-based smoking cessation intervention for Chinese smokers: a feasibility study. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 12(10), 1018–1027.

This paper reported the development and feasibility findings of a WeChat-based smoking cessation intervention for smokers in China. A total of 403 participants who currently smoked and used WeChat, the most widely used social media platform in China, were recruited and randomized to three study arms: Standard Intervention (N=136), Enhanced Intervention (N=135), and waitlist control (N=132). The Standard intervention consisted of 20 smoking cessation messages for 2 weeks and the Enhanced intervention included 20 smoking cessation messages for 2 weeks and 6 oral health-related messages for another week. Intervention content was informed by the Transtheoretical Model framework and targeted self-efficacy, stimulus control, coping skills, consciousness raising, and oral health. Researchers assessed feasibility by measuring program reach, recruitment rate, cost per person, attrition rate, intervention exposure, engagement, and satisfaction. Attrition from baseline to 4-week follow-up was 46% and program cost was estimated as $0.85 per person. In the Standard and Enhanced intervention arms, all participants read at least one message and on average engaged (sent a Like or comment) with 57% of the messages. A majority of participants were very or somewhat satisfied with the intervention (96%), engaged (72%) and would recommend to others (95%). Overall, findings support feasibility of both the Standard and Enhanced intervention. Given the feasibility and low cost of the WeChat-based program, this has the potential to be scaled up for larger population sizes to deliver smoking cessation treatment at low costs.


A Mobile Intervention to Link Young Female Entertainment Workers in Cambodia to Health and Gender-Based Violence Services: Randomized Controlled Trial

Brody C, Chhoun P, Tuot S, Fehrenbacher A, Moran A, Swendeman D, Yi S. A Mobile Intervention to Link Young Female Entertainment Workers in Cambodia to Health and Gender-Based Violence Services: Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(1):e27696 DOI: 10.2196/27696

This study evaluated the efficacy of the Mobile Link intervention to improve female entertainment workers’ (FEW) health through engagement and connection to HIV, sexual and reproductive health, and gender-based violence services. In Cambodia, FEWs are employed at karaoke bars, restaurants, bars, and massage parlors and many exchange sex to supplement their income. Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in the capital city and 3 other regions in Cambodia with high numbers of FEWs and HIV prevalence. Eligible participants were aged 18-30 years, working as a FEW, sexually active, and owned a mobile phone. Participants were randomized to the Mobile Link intervention arm (n=218) or to the control arm (standard care; n=170). For 60 weeks, participants in the Mobile Link arm received automated twice-weekly text messages and voice messages with health information and direct links to community outreach workers. Outcomes included self-reported HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, condom use, and contraceptive use at baseline and 6- and 12-month follow up. Results showed significant improvements in HIV and STI testing, condom use, and contraceptive use in both arms. The Mobile Link intervention was effective in connecting FEWs with outreach workers – contact increased by 61% in the intervention arm compared to a decrease of 30% in the control arm. Additionally, participants in the intervention arm reported significant reductions in forced drinking behavior at work from supervisors or peers compared to those in the control arm. Although there were no differences in the main outcomes, the Mobile Link intervention may be helpful in linking to outreach workers and could be potentially implemented among other populations in Cambodia, perhaps as an adjunct to standard care. Future research may consider using longer-term messaging to increase access to services and impact health outcomes.


AI Tool Can Detect Signs of Mental Health Decline in Text Messages

Article Excerpt:  Text messaging is a growing part of mental health evaluation and treatment as telehealth services have increased in recent years. However, text messaging-based interventions can lack some of the emotional reference points and subtle mental health indicators that clinicians use when navigating in-person visits with patients, the press release states. Mental health providers are facing burnout, like their peers in other medical specialties. But they are tasked with providing high-quality care during a behavioral healthcare provider shortage and the US youth mental health crisis. These strains, the press release notes, can cause undertrained or overworked clinicians to miss cognitive distortions that act as warning signs of mental health decline in their text exchanges with patients.

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Article Source: Health IT Analytics


Effect of Digital Adherence Tools on Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment Among Adults Living With HIV in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Sumari-de Boer IM, Ngowi, KM, Sonda TB, Pima FM, Masika LV, Sprangers MAG, Reiss P, Mmbaga BT, Nieuwkerk PT, Aarnoutse RE. (2021). Effect of Digital Adherence Tools on Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment Among Adults Living With HIV in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 87:5, 1136-1144, doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002695

This study investigated two digital antiretroviral HIV treatment adherence interventions among adults with suboptimal adherence living in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania using a parallel 3-arm, non-blinded, randomized controlled trial with 1:1:1 allocation. In one arm, 80 participants received reminder text messages (SMS) on 3 random days a week. In the second arm, 82 participants received a real-time medication monitoring device (RTMM) called Wisepill with SMS reminders. The device contains antiretroviral treatment, and each opening is registered and sent to an Internet server. If participants do not open before the end of the dosage window, a text reminder is sent. In the third arm, 81 participants received treatment as usual according to Tanzanian guidelines (minimal adherence counseling by nurses or pharmacists and annual viral load test). Proportion of participants who have sufficient treatment adherence (>85% of doses) was collected at enrollment and every 8 weeks for 48 weeks (total of 7 timepoints) using pharmacy refill counts and self-report. Over 48 weeks, no significant difference in self-reported adherence was found between the three arms. The average adherence based on pharmacy refills was also not significantly different across the three arms. None of the intervention arms showed a significant effect on viral suppression rates. Overall, the study’s findings do not support the use of RTMM or SMS reminder cues as a means to significantly improve adherence to HIV treatment. The difference in pharmacy refill counts compared to self-reported adherence might be due to social desirability and overreporting in all arms. More research is needed to explore how digital interventions can be used to optimize adherence across risk groups, including children, youth, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.


RI Nonprofit Helping Mend Kids’ Mental Health, One Text at A Time

Article Excerpt: The Greatest 8 is a free text message service developed in Rhode Island to help parents give their children the eight skills for mental wellness:

  • Accomod8: Coping and resilience
  • Collabor8: Problem solving
  • Elev8: Self-perceived confidence
  • Celebr8: Diversity awareness and respect
  • Negoti8: Conflict management and resolution
  • Contempl8: Identifying and understanding feelings
  • Regul8: Balancing emotions
  • Communic8: Communication skills

The weekly texts are catered to your child’s age, from newborn to 8 years old. “We teach kids how to tie their shoes, we teach them how to talk, how to walk, but we’re not intentionally helping to build mental health skills,” Susan Orban explained. Orban is the coordinator for the Washington County Coalition for Children, which developed the service along with partners URI and Brown University. She believes the issue of kids’ mental health has been simmering for quite a while, but COVID-19 catapulted it to the forefront, as the impacts of virtual learning, social isolation and wearing masks took hold.

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Article Source: WPRI


Smartphone Apps Could Help Reduce Alcohol Consumption Among College-Age Drinkers

Article Excerpt: Smartphone apps to track blood alcohol abound, but until now had little evidence to show they help manage drinking in young adults. A new University of Florida study shows that heavy drinkers age 21-25 who weren’t trying to cut back on alcohol reduced their drinking by four and a half drinks per week while using the apps -; nearly one drink less on each day they imbibed… In the study, published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, participants tested three smartphone-based interventions: a Bluetooth breathalyzer paired with an app to measure blood alcohol, an app that estimates blood alcohol based on input from the user, or, in the control condition, sent a text to themselves each time they had a drink.

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Article Source: News Medical Life Sciences