Skip to content Skip to navigation

Can Text Messaging Keep Teen Girls Healthy?

March 12, 2014
by John DeGaspari
| Reprints
Phone-based apps may be an effective violence-prevention tool, according to study

Can text-message programs be an effective violence-prevention tool for at-risk teenage girls? Megan Ranney, M.D., emergency medicine attending physician at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the pediatric division of Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, thinks so. She recently led a study that found that a text-messaging program may be an effective way to prevent violence against this patient population. The study has been published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Ranney says that mobile health is increasingly being used as a tool to improve patient health, via text messaging or phone-based applications. On the other hand, she notes that few people have studied whether teens are interested in mHealth, especially for preventative-type messages. This is despite the fact that the majority of teens who come into the ED use mobile phones, and 95 percent of them use text messaging.

Ranney’s team interviewed girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who reported peer violence during the past year, and depressive symptoms during ED visits for any medical issue. Those interviews indicated that at-risk teen girly coming to the ED are interested in receiving a test-message violence prevention intervention, and many would refer their friends to it as well.

The research team also provided guidelines about how a text-message preventive intervention should be structured: it should be personalized, positively worded, and conversational, but also should be clerar that the information is coming from an expert. The teens also expressed a need for the anbility to request additional messages in addition to scheduled text content.




CMS Selects Vendor to Modernize Critical Identity Infrastructure

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week announced it had selected San Francisco-based vendor Okta to enhance the security of its information systems.

Mayo Clinic, ASU Partner for Medical Education, Healthcare Innovation

The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have announced a partnership centered on transforming medical education and healthcare in the U.S. through a variety of innovation efforts.

CMS Hospital Compare Website Updated with VA Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the inclusion of Veterans Administration (VA) hospital performance data as part of the federal agency’s Hospital Compare website.

CMS Awards Funding to Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) aimed at local efforts to deliver better care at lower cost.

Center of Excellence in Genomic Science to be Established in Chicago

The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded $10.6 million over five years for the establishment of a new research center in Chicago to advance genomic science.

EHNAC and HITRUST Combine HIPAA Security Criteria, CSF Framework

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.