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September 29, 2010

Text Message Reminders May Not Help Women Remember to Take Pill Says Study

Filed under: Birth Control Pill — Tags: , , , , — John @ 3:18 pm

Many are finding the results of a recent study to be quite surprising. Researchers conducted a study on a group of women to see if text message reminders help women remember to take their birth control pills. Text messaging reminders have shown to be quite beneficial to many other people regarding health reminders, however in this study, there was no significant benefit shown.

The study involved 82 women who were randomly assigned to either receive daily reminders in the form of text messages or to receive no reminders (this group of women were encouraged to use their own personal ways to remember). After 3 months had passed, both groups averaged the same number of monthly pills missed. In fact, both groups missed double the amount of pills per month than the research team had originally anticipated. This may mean the adherence in the general population of those using the pill may be significantly overestimated.

While the research seems to suggest that these text message reminders aren’t helpful, researchers do think that there were additional factors that might explain the results. The control group, those who did not receive text message reminders, may have been more motivated to create personal reminders and to make sure they took a pill every day. However, as the study advanced, the level of motivation dropped and participants became less worried about always remembering to take their pill. This is evident in the research as there was an increase in missed doses especially with those who did not receive text messages, as the study progressed.

Perhaps a longer study may be necessary to solve the problems faced during this recent one. Those in the study that were receiving daily text messages did report that they found it very helpful to have these reminders.

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