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CES Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-8705

Abstract

PALACIOS-BARAHONA, Uriel et al. Effectiveness of text messages, calls and e-mail on adherence to medical appointments. Review of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. CES Med. [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.1, pp.14-22. ISSN 0120-8705.  http://dx.doi.org/10.21615/cesmedicina.32.1.2.

Background:

Mobile phones and all other forms of modern communication such as the Internet and instant messaging applications have become tools to improve attendance rates for medical appointments.

Objectives:

To evaluate the effectiveness of reminders to improve adherence to medical appointments.

Methods:

An overview of studies comparing the effectiveness and attendance rates for medical appointments between patients that did and did not receive reminders. Also, a meta-analysis was conducted to estimate the overall effect of keeping appointments depending on the age of the patients.

Results:

Seven reviews were identified which show that Short Message Service (SMS) improves adherence to medicai appointments. However, the meta-analysis showed a relative risk of 1,09 (CI 95%: 1,03 -1,11) for people with ages between 24 - 40 and 1,09 (CI 95% 1,05 - 1,14) for people with ages between 50 - 63, with regard to appointment assistance via SMS.

Conclusions:

The use of SMS reminders has a positive impact on medical appointment attendance. However, while reviewing the impact by age groups no differences were found.

Keywords : Reminder systems, appointments and schedules; Health services, Systematic reviews; Text messaging.

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