Online Program

Utilizing Text Messages in Health Education -- Fee: $250

Saturday, November 2, 2013: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
LI Course
3 contact hours
Statement of Purpose and Institute Overview: The purpose of this course is to inform attendees of lessons learned and best practices for text message (SMS)-based health promotion interventions and to provide a forum the practice of pertinent skills. Findings come from relevant literature, as well as process and outcome evaluations of Text2BHealthy, a collaborative project between Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education and the University of Maryland's School of Public Health. This school-based SMS program sends messages that encourage physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption to parents of elementary school children. The use of text message, also known as Short Message Service (SMS) programs to supplement or deliver health interventions has increased in recent years. Text messages have been used to deliver health information, send appointment reminders, connect patients directly with practitioners, and aid in the development and tracking of goals (Ahlers-Schmidt, 2010). SMS programs have been used to address a wide variety of health issues, including smoking cessation (Berkman et al., 2011), diabetes (Arora et al., 2012), depression (Aguliera & Munoz, 2011), weight management (Donaldson & Fallows, 2011), and sexual health (Gold et al., 2010). The appeal of SMS-based interventions comes from its relatively low cost for participants and researchers, as well as its potential to reach a broad audience. Approximately 83% of adults in the U.S. own a cell phone, and 73% send and receive text messages (Smith, 2011). Texts may be a particularly useful way of reaching parents, as 96% of have phones that can receive text messages, and 81% have unlimited texting plans (Ahlers-Schmidt, 2010). Text messages may also be a useful tool for accessing underserved groups. It is a particularly common form of communication for non-white individuals, as well as those who with lower income and education (Smith, 2011). Though several studies evaluate SMS –based health interventions, research concerning the development of evidence-based practices is limited (Jordan et al., 2011). As such, the dissemination of lessons learned from those who have developed, implemented and evaluated SMS programs is a crucial step in the development of best practices concerning SMS-based health programs. Learning from experience and data gathered by those who have developed and evaluated such programs can help practitioners and researchers seeking to utilize SMS in health promotion do so more efficiently and effectively.
Session Objectives: Evaluate the ways text message-based interventions can be used to encourage health behavior change, as well as the shortcomings of using mobile technology. Explain the components necessary to implement a text message-based health program after learning about Text2BHealthy’s process of recruitment, focus groups, implementation of program, and evaluation process. Formulate a plan to utilize text messages in their area of health practice, including program goals, design, recruitment, content, and evaluation.

Welcoming Remarks
Wrap-up and Q&A Discussion During this segment all presenters will summarize the most important points from their individual presentation and answer any learners' questions. Objective: Summarize important points; clarify any points of confusion. Stephanie Grutzmacher, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Learning Institute (APHA-LI)

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)