Teens More Responsive to STI Test Results via Text Message

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Teen patients with STIs may be more receptive to text messages than phone calls for hospital notifications.
Teen patients with STIs may be more receptive to text messages than phone calls for hospital notifications.
The following article is part of The Clinical Advisor's coverage from the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners' 39th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care in Chicago. Our staff will be reporting live on the latest news and clinically relevant practice information from leading pediatric NPs in many specialty areas. Check back for ongoing updates from NAPNAP 2018. 

CHICAGO—Using Short Message Service (SMS or text) messaging is a faster, more responsive form of communication with adolescent patients who may require sexually transmitted infection (STI) test results or treatments, according to research presented at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) 2018 National Conference.

Jennifer Molnar, MSN, CRNP, SANE-P, of the Emergency Department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues, attended to 347 adolescent patients aged 13 and older who tested positive for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and/or trichomoniasis during a span of 20 months and sent results via text message to compare contact rates with phone calls.

Prior to the commencement of this study, 67% of adolescents required 2 or more phone call attempts, and 11% were not reached within 72 hours of final test results. The investigators hypothesized that text messaging patients would reduce the time from test result to patient notification and patient treatment time.

Text messages did not reveal results but notified patients that they were being reached and requested a response via telephone (not text response).

For patients who received a text message notification, 37% contacted the hospital on the 1st attempt compared with 22% who did not receive a text notification (control). Patients who received text messages were contacted in less than an hour of results 41% of the time; 28% of the time for the control group.

Among the text message group patients, 13% had a notification rate of more than 72 hours, compared with 18% in the control group.

“Decreasing time to result notification is imperative for treatment initiation and to mitigate disease transmission in the community,” the authors wrote. “Teens are more responsible to SMS messaging, resulting in improved time to notification and treatment.”

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Reference

Molnar J, Rockey A, DeVita D, Reich M, Davey M. Adolescent STI texting initiative. Presented at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 2018 National Conference; March 19-22, 2018; Chicago.

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