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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-9

Text messaging improves diabetes-related knowledge of patients in India: A quasi-experimental study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi 110002, India
2 Department of Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi 110002, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurav Basu
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi 110002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Read associated Erratum: Erratum with this article

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.323446

Background. Diabetes-related health education promotes patient efficacy for diabetes self-management. However, sub-optimal knowledge of diabetes in people with diabetes is recognized as a challenge in overcrowded public health facilities in India. We aimed to determine the effect of health education through mobile phone text messages (short messaging service [SMS]) on diabetes-related knowledge of patients with diabetes. Methods. From February 2016 to February 2017, we recruited adult patients with diabetes for this quasi-experimental study done in the outpatient setting of a major tertiary care government hospital in Delhi, India. Participants in the intervention group received a text message on diabetes self-care practices every alternate day for 90 days. We evaluated the patients’ knowledge of diabetes using the Spoken Knowledge in Low Literacy in Diabetes (SKILL-D) questionnaire and a self-designed diabetes knowledge questionnaire. Results. We enrolled 190 men and 160 women, of whom 52 (13.7%) were lost to follow-up. At baseline, mean diabetes knowledge scores were higher in the intervention group compared to the control group. After the intervention period of 3 months, the diabetes knowledge scores for SKILL-D and the patient diabetes knowledge questionnaire showed a statistically significant increase in the intervention group (mean difference 0.7 and 0.5, respectively; p<0.001, but there was no increase in the control group). Conclusion. The use of mobile phone technology for diabetes-related health education through mobile text-message (SMS) technology is an effective method for health promotion.

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