Preventive health behavior change text message interventions: a meta-analysis

Armanasco, Ashleigh A., Miller, Yvette D., Fjeldsoe, Brianna S. and Marshall, Alison L. (2017) Preventive health behavior change text message interventions: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52 3: 391-402. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2016.10.042

Author Armanasco, Ashleigh A.
Miller, Yvette D.
Fjeldsoe, Brianna S.
Marshall, Alison L.
Title Preventive health behavior change text message interventions: a meta-analysis
Journal name American Journal of Preventive Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-2607
Publication date 2017-03-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.10.042
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 52
Issue 3
Start page 391
End page 402
Total pages 12
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context: Existing evidence shows that text message interventions can produce short-term health behavior change. However, understanding is limited regarding intervention characteristics moderating this effect or the long-term effectiveness of text message interventions on behavior change after contact stops.

Evidence acquisition: MEDLINE, PubMed Central, ERIC, PsycINFO, and Web of Science were searched for articles published between April 2008 and December 2014 that evaluated an intervention targeting preventive health behaviors, delivered primarily by text message.

Evidence synthesis: Intervention development and design characteristics and research outcomes were evaluated for 51 studies. Thirty-five studies were included in a meta-analysis (conducted in 2015) examining overall effect size and moderators of effect size. The overall pooled effect of interventions was d=0.24 (95% CI=0.16, 0.32, p<0.001) using outcome data collected most proximal to intervention cessation. Seven studies collected data following a no-intervention maintenance period and showed a small but significant pooled maintenance effect (d=0.17, 95% CI=0.03, 0.31, p=0.017, k=7). Few variables significantly moderated intervention efficacy. Interventions that did not use a theoretic basis, used supplementary intervention components, and had a duration of 6–12 months were most effective. The specific behavior being targeted was not associated with differences in efficacy nor was tailoring, targeting, or personalization of text message content.

Conclusions: Text message interventions are capable of producing positive change in preventive health behaviors. Preliminary evidence indicates that these effects can be maintained after the intervention stops. The moderator analysis findings are at odds with previous research, suggesting a need to examine moderators at the behavior-specific level.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
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