TextTB: A Mixed Method Pilot Study Evaluating Acceptance, Feasibility, and Exploring Initial Efficacy of a Text Messaging Intervention to Support TB Treatment Adherence

Tuberc Res Treat. 2013;2013:349394. doi: 10.1155/2013/349394. Epub 2013 Dec 12.


Objective. To assess a text messaging intervention to promote tuberculosis (TB) treatment adherence. Methods. A mixed-methods pilot study was conducted within a public pulmonary-specialized hospital in Argentina. Patients newly diagnosed with TB who were 18 or older, and had mobile phone access were recruited and randomized to usual care plus either medication calendar (n = 19) or text messaging intervention (n = 18) for the first two months of treatment. Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability; secondary outcomes explored initial efficacy. Results. Feasibility was evidenced by high access to mobile phones, familiarity with texting, most phones limited to basic features, a low rate of participant refusal, and many describing suboptimal TB understanding. Acceptability was evidenced by participants indicating feeling cared for, supported, responsible for their treatment, and many self-reporting adherence without a reminder. Participants in the texting group self-reported adherence on average 77% of the days whereas only 53% in calendar group returned diaries. Exploring initial efficacy, microscopy testing was low and treatment outcomes were similar in both groups. Conclusion. The texting intervention was well accepted and feasible with greater reporting of adherence using text messaging than the diary. Further evaluation of the texting intervention is warranted.