SMS is a promising medium for delivering diet advice, a new study has indicated.
Researchers from the United States came to this conclusion after conducting focus groups with parents of obese children.
These groups were delivered a series of advisory text messages over a three-week period to help them alter their child’s diet and were questioned about the effectiveness of this medium afterwards.
According to jmir.org, many were complimentary, stating that text messages were more convenient and easy to access than emails.
The study’s participants said they were happy to receive more than three messages a week as long as they remained relevant.
Limited message sizes and poor filing systems were cited as potential disadvantages of SMS communication, but many of the study’s participants agreed that these could be overcome if messages featured links to other platforms, such as email or websites.
In a conclusion cited by fiercemobilehealthcare.com, the study’s authors said: “While some reported more comfort with email than text messaging, many felt inundated with emails and reported consequently ignoring or overlooking many.
“Some considered the asynchronous nature of text messaging a benefit because you can read and reply to messages when convenient. Many mentioned that text messages are easy to share and show to others, allowing quick dissemination of health messages to family and friends.”