Text Messaging Interventions Do Not Improve HIV Outcomes

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All participants received text message reminders 48 hours before primary care appointments, a monthly check-in message, and check-in telephone calls at 3 and 9 months.
All participants received text message reminders 48 hours before primary care appointments, a monthly check-in message, and check-in telephone calls at 3 and 9 months.

Text messaging interventions do not increase rates of virologic suppression or retention in clinical care for patients with HIV, according to study results published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The text messaging intervention Connect4Care was designed to "foster a sense of connectedness to one's health and health care."

The study included 230 participants who were randomly assigned to the following interventions: either intervention messages sent 3 times per week, texted primary care appointment reminders (n=116), and a monthly text message requesting confirmation of study participation, or texted primary care appointment reminders and a monthly text message requesting confirmation of study participation (n=114). 

The primary outcome was virologic suppression (<200 copies/mL) at 12 months, and the secondary outcome was retention in clinical care.

At 12 months, the intervention and control groups had similar rates of virologic suppression (48.8% vs 45.8%). The change in rates of virologic suppression from 6 to 12 months was negligible in both groups.

The intervention did not have any effect on retention in clinical care.

However, the researchers noted that exploratory analyses suggested that greater engagement with study text messages was associated with improved outcomes, regardless of study group.

Disclosures

Dr Christopoulos has been a community advisory board member for Gilead and a scientific advisory board member for Roche; she has also received investigator-initiated grant support from Gilead. All other authors report no potential conflicts.

Reference

Christopoulos KA, Riley ED, Carrico AW, et al. A randomized controlled trial of a text messaging intervention to promote virologic suppression and retention care in an urban safety-net HIV clinic: the Connect4Care (C4C) Trial [published online February 21 2018]. Clin Infect Dis. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy156

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