Objective: To determine the effectiveness of implementation of a prevention programme via mobile phone text messaging in enhancing knowledge, attitudes and practice concerning iodine deficiency and iodized salt consumption.
Design: In a randomized controlled trial, participants were subjected to a brief tele-educational support regarding iodine deficiency and the importance of iodized salt consumption. The intervention group received daily text messages via mobile phone for 6 weeks. Knowledge, attitude and practice scores, urinary iodine concentration and salt iodine content were assessed at baseline and 8 weeks after the intervention.
Setting: Participants were recruited from health-care centres in Tehran, the capital city of Iran.
Subjects: For the present study 205 females aged ≥18 years were randomly assigned to the intervention (n 95) and control (n 110) groups.
Results: A significant difference was found in median knowledge scores between the intervention and control groups at follow-up (P = 0.004). There was also a significant difference in median attitude scores between the intervention and control groups (P = 0.02). The intervention group did not differ significantly in median practice score, urinary iodine concentration and salt iodine content from the control group.
Conclusions: Text messaging interventions are effective in improving individuals' knowledge and attitudes regarding preventive health-care topics.