Text message interventions for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: a systematic review.

Publication Date: 
May 02, 2013

Daily management challenges and declines in glycemic control are evident among youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) as responsibility for care transitions from parent to youth. Many behavioral interventions developed for youth and their caregivers have demonstrated a small yet significant impact, and one method to potentially augment or increase their potency may be the use of mobile health strategies such as text messages. The primary aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the current literature regarding interventions incorporating text message-based interventions for youth with T1D. Feasibility was demonstrated across all text message programs, but participant satisfaction and glycated hemoglobin results were mixed. Retention rates varied, and technical difficulties were reported in several studies. Current evidence suggests that text message-based interventions that include text messages are feasible and enjoyable, but yet their clinical significance for long-term daily T1D management behaviors and glycemic control is unclear. Researchers are recommended to carefully consider the format, frequency, and timing of text message interventions and to fully test software before implementation. Future research needs include utilization of experimental designs such as randomized controlled trials, SMART design trials, and stepped wedge design trials to clarify specific medical and psychosocial outcomes, the role of caregivers/peers and incentives, and utility in clinical settings.