If you take the Pill, do you think receiving a daily text message reminder would help you use the Pill consistently and long-term?
If you answered yes, you're in agreement with the results of a study that sought to determine if daily educational text messages affect Pill continuation at 6 months.
Women ages 13 to 24 years electing to use the Pill at an urban family planning clinic were randomized to routine care or routine care and 180 daily educational text messages (the intervention group). There were 968 participants and 6-month continuation data was obtained on 682 (70%):
At 6 months, 54% of intervention participants were taking OC compared to 45% of the routine care group (p<.01). Similarly, 70% of intervention participants were taking OC the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 61% of the routine care group (p=.03). The intervention group was less likely to report interrupted OC use than the control group (35% vs. 45%, p=.02) and more likely to report consistent OC use (40% vs. 29%, p=.002). The text message group started and finished more packs of OC than the routine care group (p<.05). Women in the intervention group received and read most of the text messages and were satisfied with the number, length and content of the messages.
Overall, the study found that, for the study population (young urban women), the effect of daily educational text message reminders on Pill continuation at 6 months was an improvement of 9% to 11% over the group receiving routine care alone.
On a practical note, I wish there was a Pill app I could recommend so that you could run your own experiment to see if a daily reminder would be helpful to you. I'm aware of a couple (The Pill and iPilule) but, unfortunately, based on anecdotal reports, neither seems ready for prime time yet.
Maybe I should look into developing an iPill app, no? In the meantime, if you know of a good Pill reminder app let me know.