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Short message service text messaging was feasible as a tool for data collection in a trial of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Joy Adamson


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Objectives To examine the feasibility of collecting data relating to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms by short message service (SMS) text and explore the data to assess its usefulness. Study Design and Setting In a randomized parallel group design substudy, 59 consenting participants recruited from primary care to a trial of acupuncture for IBS (ISRCTN 08827905) were randomized to receive a one-question SMS message at either 9:30 am or at 6:30 pm for 7 days: "On a scale of 0-9, with 0 being no symptoms and 9 being the worst symptoms you could have, how would you score your IBS symptoms now? Please text back a single number." Results Of the total messages, 59% (n = 203) were answered within 15 minutes, 73.4% (n = 254) within 1 hour, and 97% (n = 334) within 10 hours. Response rates to evening texts were higher (93.5% vs. 87.6% P = 0.05) and response times shorter though not significantly (median: 0 vs. 5 hours; P = 0.12). There was no difference in mean scores, and morning symptoms varied more. Mean scores correlated significantly with IBS trial primary outcome measure, the IBS symptom severity score, and secondary outcome measures. Conclusion Among IBS trial participants, data collection by SMS is feasible and acceptable, and there is potential for deriving meaningful data from the scores. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brabyn S, Adamson J, MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Torgerson DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology

Year: 2014

Volume: 67

Issue: 9

Pages: 993-1000

Print publication date: 01/09/2014

Online publication date: 25/06/2014

Acceptance date: 06/05/2014

ISSN (print): 0895-4356

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5921

Publisher: Elsevier USA


DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.05.004

PubMed id: 24972761


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