This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Text messages improve adherence

Written by: | Published:

Text messages may improve medication adherence Text messages may improve medication adherence

Text messages might offer a 'simple-to-use, cost-effective means for nurses to promote medication adherence,' an integrative review of 13 studies concluded.

Four papers failed to show that text messaging improved adherence. In the other nine studies, text messaging improved adherence by between 15.3% and 17.8%. However, the studies used different adherence assessments.

Seven studies did not require patients to respond to the text. The remaining studies asked patients to respond to, for example, address needs, answer questions or assess satisfaction. The number of texts sent varied from three a day for 12 weeks to one a month for three months. Eight studies sent daily texts. One study compared weekly and daily texts: weekly messages were associated with better adherence. Five studies examined satisfaction. All reported that patients found the text messages moderately to highly helpful at promoting adherence.

Large randomised trials need to investigate text messaging's effect on adherence, the authors comment. In the meantime, 'nurses could use this relatively simple method of medication reminders to have a profound effect on health outcomes through promoting medication adherence'. Texting by individual nurses 'may not be feasible or practical'. However, nurses could advocate including text messages in IT systems.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.