Background: Using two-way mobile phone text messages to improve adherence to antiretroviral medication enhances communication between patients and health workers. We describe the implications of participants' responses to text messages in the Cameroon Mobile Phone SMS (CAMPS) trial.
Findings: This is a cross-sectional analysis of data from the intervention arm of the CAMPS trial. CAMPS was a randomized controlled trial of motivational text messaging versus usual care to improve adherence to antiretroviral medication among people living with HIV in Yaounde, Cameroon (n = 200) over a 6 month period. Participants in the intervention arm (n = 101) were given a contact phone number, but were not required to respond to their reminder messages. If they did, their responses were noted and reported as counts and percentages. We received 99 phone calls and 55 text messages (154 responses) from 48 participants during the study period. The median number of responses was 1 (first quartile [Q1]: 1; third quartile [Q3]: 3). Half (n = 79, 51.1%) of them were expressions of gratitude. The rest included requests for logistical (n = 21, 13.6%), medical (n = 20, 12.9%) and financial (n = 11, 7.1%) support.
Conclusion: Initiating two-way mobile communication opens more channels for people living with HIV to express unmet needs. Researchers, policy makers and clinicians should be ready to respond to the needs expressed by patients who respond to text messages.
Trial registration: Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry: PACTR201011000261458;