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CES Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-8705


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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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