The impact of an educational text message intervention on young urban women's knowledge of oral contraception

Contraception. 2013 Apr;87(4):449-54. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.09.004. Epub 2012 Oct 10.


Background: Oral contraceptive (OC) knowledge deficits may contribute to OC discontinuation. We examined the effect of an innovative educational intervention on young women's OC knowledge.

Study design: As part of a randomized trial evaluating the impact of text message reminders on OC continuation, we assessed OC knowledge in 659 women ages 13-25 years. Women received routine care or routine care plus 6 months of daily educational text messages. We administered a comprehensive 41-item OC knowledge survey at baseline and 6 months.

Results: Mean OC knowledge scores improved over time for all women (baseline 22.8, 56% correct versus 24.7, 60% at 6 months), including knowledge of OC's mechanisms of action (p=.004), effectiveness (p<.001), side effects (p=.03) and benefits (p<.001). Mean 6-month scores were greater in the intervention (25.5) than the control group (23.7)(p<.001). In multivariable linear regression models, the text message intervention most strongly predicted OC knowledge (β=1.6, 95% confidence interval 0.9-2.2).

Conclusion: Daily educational text messages can modestly improve knowledge of OCs, which may promote successful contraceptive outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptives, Oral*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Reminder Systems
  • Text Messaging*
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptives, Oral