Use of text messaging services to promote health behaviors in children

Fassnacht, Daniel B., Ali, Kathina, Silva, Cátia, Gonçalves, Sonia, and Machado, Paulo P.P. (2015) Use of text messaging services to promote health behaviors in children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47 (1). pp. 75-80.

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Objective: To examine adherence to, satisfaction with, and preliminary efficacy of mobile phone short message service (SMS) to promote health behaviors in school-aged children.

Methods: A total of 49 children (aged 8–10 years) were randomized by school classes into a monitoring vs no-monitoring group. All children participated in 2 educational group sessions that focused on health behaviors: the advantages of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity, and decreasing screen time. The monitoring group also reported daily behavior using SMS and received supportive feedback for 8 weeks.

Results: Children submitted 61% of the required SMS, which indicated good adherence to the intervention. A number of children (95%) reported being satisfied with the program. Analyses of covariance indicated increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (χ2 [2] = 7.27; P < .05) and a decrease in screen time (χ2 [2] = 6.79; P < .05).

Conclusions and Implications: The current SMS intervention was a useful tool to monitor and promote health behaviors in children.

Item ID: 37873
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1878-2620
Keywords: health behavior, eating behavior, exercise, text messaging
Funders: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal
Projects and Grants: PTDC/PSI-PCL/099981/2008
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 16:38
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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