The effect of SMS texting on attendance at Stop Smoking Wales
Katie Tulloch, Vasiliki Kiparoglou and Hugo Van Woerden
Vasiliki Kiparoglou Senior Public Health Practitioner, Public Health Wales, Cardiff
Background Stop Smoking Wales (SSW) provides an evidence-based smoking cessation service for the population of Wales. This study seeks to evaluate the effect of Short Message Service (SMS) texts on assessment and treatment session attendance.
Methods Data from (n=1295) contacts in SSW over the period of 3 months in 2010 were used in order to examine the association between receiving an SMS text reminder and attending the assessment and treatment sessions. The attendance rates and outcomes were then compared with an historical control group. The main finding was abstinence from smoking 4 weeks post quit date.
Results The data showed unexpected results. The attendance rate at the assessment session in the SMS text reminder group was lower compared to the historical control. On the other hand, the SMS text reminder group attended more treatment sessions than the historical group (p<0.001). Furthermore, the SMS text reminder group had a higher quit rate at 4 weeks post quit date.
Conclusions The preliminary analysis of the data provided mixed results. However, the analysis was restricted to a small number of clients and there is now more data to be included. The effects of other factors such as motivation should also be considered in future studies.