Health Promotion Text Messaging Preferences and Acceptability Among the Medically Underserved

Health Promot Pract. 2015 Jul;16(4):523-32. doi: 10.1177/1524839914566850. Epub 2015 Jan 13.


The Colorado Healthy Heart Solutions program uses community health workers to provide health promotion and navigation services for participants in medically underserved, predominantly rural areas who are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease. A text messaging program designed to increase participant engagement and adherence to lifestyle changes was pilot tested with English- and Spanish-speaking participants. Preimplementation focus groups with participants informed the development of text messages that were used in a 6-week pilot program. Postimplementation focus groups and interviews then evaluated the pilot program. Participants reported a preference for concise messages received once daily and for positive messages suggesting specific actions that could be feasibly accomplished within the course of the day. Participants also consistently reported the desire for clarity in message delivery and content, indicating that the source of the messages should be easy to recognize, messages should state clearly when participants were expected to respond to the messages, and any responses should be acknowledged. Links to other websites or resources were generally viewed as trustworthy and acceptable, but were preferred for supplementary material only. These results may inform the development of future chronic disease management programs in underserved areas or augment existing programs using text messaging reinforcement.

Keywords: computer-mediated health promotion; medically underserved populations; qualitative methods; text messaging interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Colorado
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rural Health Services
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult