Document details

Use of text messaging services to promote health behaviors in children

Author(s): Fassnacht, Daniel Benjamin ; Ali, Kathina ; Silva, Cátia Sofia Botelho ; Gonçalves, Sónia ; Machado, Paulo P. P.

Date: 2015

Persistent ID:

Origin: RepositóriUM - Universidade do Minho

Project/scholarship: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/5876-PPCDTI/99981/PT ;

Subject(s): Health behavior; Eating behavior; Exercise; Text messaging; Social Sciences; Science & Technology; Social Sciences; Social Sciences; Science & Technology; Science & Technology


Objective: To examine adherence to, satisfaction with, and preliminary efficacy of mobile phone short message service (SMS) to promote health behaviors in school-aged children.Methods: A total of 49 children (aged 8-10 years) were randomized by school classes into a monitoring vs nomonitoring group. All children participated in 2 educational group sessions that focused on health behaviors: the advantages of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity, and decreasing screen time. The monitoring group also reported daily behavior using SMS and received supportive feedback for 8 weeks.Results: Children submitted 61% of the required SMS, which indicated good adherence to the intervention. A number of children (95%) reported being satisfied with the program. Analyses of covariance indicated increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (chi(2) [2] = 7.27; P < .05) and a decrease in screen time (chi(2) [2] = 6.79; P < .05).Conclusions and Implications: The current SMS intervention was a useful tool to monitor and promote health behaviors in children.

Document Type Journal article
Language English
Contributor(s) Fassnacht, Daniel Benjamin; Ali, Kathina; Silva, Cátia Sofia Botelho; Gonçalves, Sónia; Machado, Paulo P. P.
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