Effects of Phone and Text Message Reminders on Completion of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Series

J Adolesc Health. 2017 Jan;60(1):113-119. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.09.011. Epub 2016 Nov 8.


Purpose: To assess the effect of phone or text message reminders to parents of adolescents on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series completion in Rochester, NY.

Methods: We performed parallel randomized controlled trials of phone and text reminders for HPV vaccine for parents of 11- to 17-year olds in three urban primary care clinics. The main outcome measures were time to receipt of the third dose of HPV vaccine and HPV vaccination rates.

Results: We enrolled 178 phone intervention (180 control) and 191 text intervention (200 control) participants. In multivariate survival analysis controlling for gender, age, practice, insurance, race, and ethnicity, the time from enrollment to receipt of the third HPV dose for those receiving a phone reminder compared with controls was not significant overall (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.30, p = .12) but was for those enrolling at dose 1 (HR = 1.91, p = .007). There was a significant difference in those receiving a text reminder compared with controls (HR = 2.34, p < .0001; an average of 71 days earlier). At the end of the study, 48% of phone intervention versus 40% of phone control (p = .34), and 49% of text intervention versus 30% of text control (p = .001) adolescents had received 3 HPV vaccine doses.

Conclusions: In this urban population of parents of adolescents, text message reminders for HPV vaccine completion for those who had already started the series were effective, whereas phone message reminders were only effective for those enrolled at dose 1.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01731496.

Keywords: Adolescent health services; Human papillomavirus vaccine; Reminder systems; Text messaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Parents
  • Reminder Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01731496