Patient Perspectives on a Text Messaging Program to Support Asthma Management: A Qualitative Study

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Graduate School of Social Work


Asthma, Behavior change, Chronic disease, Health promotion, Health research, Qualitative research.


Introduction. This study investigated participants' acceptance of a short messaging service (SMS) intervention designed to support asthma management, including suggestions regarding program delivery and message content. Methods. Individual and group interviews were conducted with patients from a safety-net health care system in Denver, Colorado. Eligible participants were English or Spanish speakers between the ages of 13 and 40 years, with diagnosed persistent asthma. All individual and group interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, translated from Spanish to English (where applicable), and analyzed for thematic content by experienced analysts using established qualitative content techniques. The qualitative software package ATLAS.ti was used for data analysis and management. Results. This study included a total of 43 participants. In general, participants were receptive toward the SMS program and supported the use of tailored and interactive messages. Adolescents supported the idea of enhancing care by sending messages to a support person, such as a parent or guardian. However, adults were less receptive toward this idea. Participants also preferred directive educational messages and cues to action, while general messages reminding them of their asthma diagnosis were viewed less favorably. Implications. The results from this study will inform a randomized control trial evaluating the efficacy of the SMS intervention.

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