Reinforcement of adherence to prescription recommendations in Asian Indian diabetes patients using short message service (SMS)--a pilot study

J Assoc Physicians India. 2011 Nov;59:711-4.


Objectives: To investigate the acceptability and feasibility of using short message services (SMS) via cell phones to ensure adherence to management prescriptions by diabetic patients.

Methods: Type 2 diabetic patients with 5 or more years of diabetes and having HbA1c between 7.0% to 10% were randomized to the control arm (n = 105) to receive standard care and to the intervention arm (SMS, n = 110). Messages in English on principles of diabetes management were sent once in 3 days, the contents and frequencies varied as per the patients' preferences. The study duration was 1 year. All participants were advised to report for quarterly clinic visits. A comparative assessment of the clinical, biochemical and anthropometric outcomes was made among the groups at the annual visit.

Results: Annual review was possible in 71% of intervention group and 63% of control group. SMS was acceptable to the patients and the median number requested was 2 per week. HbA1c and plasma lipids improved significantly in the SMS group.

Conclusions: The pilot study showed that frequent communication via SMS was acceptable to diabetic patients and it helped to improve the health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians / psychology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cell Phone
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • India
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Self Care
  • Text Messaging*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin