Text messages may aid medication adherence for teen diabetics

COLUMBUS, Ohio A pilot study conducted by an endocrinologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is looking to increase medication adherence among adolescent diabetic patients with text message alerts.

Doctor Jennifer Dyer found that a simple reminder, in the form of a text message, can be sent to her teenage patients to improve their medication adherence. During the study, she sent personalized questions and reminders specific to diabetes adherence activities, in addition to friendly, supportive messages to her patients. Dyer also applied for an internal grant in order to test an iPhone application that she has developed. This application will allow endocrinologists to send personalized, yet automated texts to multiple patients at a specific time.

“If adolescent diabetes patients do not adhere to their treatment and medication plans, it can result in difficulty concentrating in school or functioning throughout the day,” said Dyer, who also is an assistant professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Excellent control and treatment can have a long-term, positive effect on a patient with diabetes. This form of communication allows for real-time health management, which is extremely valuable for patients that suffer from a chronic illness like diabetes.”

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