TitleRecruitment and retention in an SMS-based health education program: Lessons learned from Text2BHealthy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSpeirs, KE, Grutzmacher, SK, Munger, AL, Messina, LA
JournalHealth Informatics J
Date Published09/2016
KeywordsAdult, Cell Phone, Female, Focus Groups, Health Behavior, Health Education, Humans, Male, Nutrition Policy, Parents, Personnel Selection, School Health Services, Surveys and Questionnaires, Text Messaging

While text messages or short messaging service programs are increasingly utilized for delivering health education, few studies have explored the unique challenges of recruiting and retaining participants in such programs. This study utilizes survey and focus group data from Text2BHealthy, a short messaging service-based nutrition and physical activity promotion program, to examine barriers to enrollment and facilitators of retention among parents of elementary school students. Results show that participants were hard to reach with recruitment materials, had difficulty with self-enrollment, and were apprehensive about program costs. However, 89-90 percent of participants were retained. Results suggest that providing manual enrollment options, alternative program delivery methods (e.g. email messages), and opportunities to reenroll may facilitate participation in short messaging service-based health education and promotion programs.

Alternate JournalHealth Informatics J
PubMed ID25916832