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dc.contributor.authorAhlers-Schmidt, Carolyn R.
dc.contributor.authorChesser, Amy K.
dc.contributor.authorPaschal, Angelia M.
dc.contributor.authorHart, Traci A.
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Katherine S.
dc.contributor.authorYaghmai, Beryl
dc.contributor.authorShah-Haque, Sapna
dc.identifier.citationAhlers-Schmidt CR, AK Chesser, AM Paschal, TA Hart, KS Williams, B Yaghmai, and S Shah-Haque. 2012. "Parent opinions about use of text messaging for immunization reminders". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 14 (3).en_US
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000305797300021
dc.descriptionClick on the link below for free access to this article at the publisher's website.en_US
dc.description.abstractBackground: Adherence to childhood immunization schedules is a function of various factors. Given the increased use of technology as a strategy to increase immunization coverage, it is important to investigate how parents perceive different forms of communication, including traditional means and text-message reminders. Objective: To examine current forms of communication about immunization information, parents’ satisfaction levels with these communication modes, perceived barriers and benefits to using text messaging, and the ideal content of text messages for immunization reminders. Methods: Structured interviews were developed and approved by two Institutional Review Boards. A convenience sample of 50 parents was recruited from two local pediatric clinics. The study included a demographics questionnaire, the shortened form of the Test of Functional Health Literacy for Adults (S-TOFHLA), questions regarding benefits and barriers of text communication from immunization providers, and preferred content for immunization reminders. Content analyses were performed on responses to barriers, benefits, and preferred content (all Cohen’s kappas > 0.70). Results: Respondents were mostly female (45/50, 90%), white non-Hispanic (31/50, 62%), between 20–41 years (mean = 29, SD 5), with one or two children (range 1–9). Nearly all (48/50, 96%) had an S-TOFHLA score in the “adequate” range. All parents (50/50, 100%) engaged in face-to-face contact with their child’s physician at appointments, 74% (37/50) had contact via telephone, and none of the parents (0/50, 0%) used email or text messages. Most parents were satisfied with the face-to-face (48/50, 96%) and telephone (28/50, 75%) communication. Forty-nine of the 50 participants (98%) were interested in receiving immunization reminders by text message, and all parents (50/50, 100%) were willing to receive general appointment reminders by text message. Parents made 200 comments regarding text-message reminders. Benefits accounted for 63.5% of comments (127/200). The remaining 37.5% (73/200) regarded barriers; however, no barriers could be identified by 26% of participants (13/50). Parents made 172 comments regarding preferred content of text-message immunization reminders. The most frequently discussed topics were date due (50/172, 29%), general reminder (26/172, 26%), and child’s name (21/172, 12%). Conclusions: Most parents were satisfied with traditional communication; however, few had experienced any alternative forms of communication regarding immunizations. Benefits of receiving text messages for immunization reminders far outweighed the barriers identified by parents. Few barriers identified were text specific. Those that were, centered on cost if parents did not have unlimited texting plans.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipWe would like to thank Dr. Mark Russell, Dr. William Hou, and Karen Davis, MA, for their hard work on this project. This project was funded by a University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita Level I Dean’s Fund Grant Award.en_US
dc.publisherJMIR Publications, Incen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesJournal of Medical Internet Research;2012, v.14, no.3
dc.rightsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
dc.subjectProvider-patient communicationen_US
dc.subjectChild immunizationsen_US
dc.subjectText messageen_US
dc.subject.classificationHEALTH CARE SCIENCES & SERVICES
dc.subject.classificationMEDICAL INFORMATICS
dc.titleParent opinions about use of text messaging for immunization remindersen_US
dc.description.versionPeer reviewed
dc.rights.holderCopyright : ©Carolyn Rose Ahlers-Schmidt, Amy K Chesser, Angelia M Paschal, Traci A Hart, Katherine S Williams, Beryl Yaghmai, Sapna Shah-Haque. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 06.06.2012.

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