Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Texting program good option for teen girls' health, study shows

Date:
March 12, 2014
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
An emergency medicine physician recently led a study that found a text-message program may be an effective violence prevention tool for at-risk teen girls. The team interviewed girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who reported past-year peer violence and depressive symptoms during emergency department visits for any medical issue. Overwhelmingly, the interviews showed that at-risk teen girls coming to the ED for care are very interested in receiving a text-message violence prevention intervention. The teens felt that a text-message program would enhance their existing coping strategies, and that they would not only use it themselves, but also refer their friends to it.

Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, an emergency medicine attending physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital, recently led a study that found a text-message program may be an effective violence prevention tool for at-risk teen girls. The study has been published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

"Mobile health, or 'mHealth,' is increasingly being used as a way to improve people's health, via text-messaging or phone-based applications," said Ranney. "However, few people have studied whether teens are interested in mHealth, especially for prevention-type messages, even though the vast majority of teens who come to the emergency department (ED) use mobile phones and more than 95 percent of those patients report that they use text messaging."

Ranney's team interviewed girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who reported past-year peer violence and depressive symptoms during emergency department visits for any medical issue. Overwhelmingly, the interviews showed that at-risk teen girls coming to the ED for care are very interested in receiving a text-message violence prevention intervention. The teens felt that a text-message program would enhance their existing coping strategies, and that they would not only use it themselves, but also refer their friends to it.

"The ED is the primary source of care for many teens with high risk behaviors, such as peer violence, and it provides an important opportunity to initiate preventive interventions. However, there can be many limitations to providing such interventions in real time, including lack of time and resources on the part of ED staff, poor accessibility and availability of community resources, and low rates of follow-through with treatment referrals, leaving this group of teens largely under-served," said Ranney. "For these high-risk populations, who have high rates of mobile phone ownership but low accessibility to traditional health care, mHealth may be a particularly promising format for delivering preventive care."

The research team also discovered some important guidelines about how a text-message preventive intervention should be structured. The intervention should be personalized, positively worded, and conversational, but also it should be clear that the messages are coming from an expert. The teens also expressed a need for the ability to request additional text messages as needed, in addition to receiving pre-scheduled text content.

"We know that a history of fights or violence increases girls' long-term risk of alcohol and drug use, dating violence and depression," said Ranney. "Sadly, high-risk teen girls have few options to help them prevent fights, and traditional ways of helping teens, such as parents, grandparents, and physicians, may not be available or accessible."

Ranney continued, "But almost every teen girl has a cell phone and uses text messaging. If we can develop a text-message program that works for these teens, we may be able to help them make it through their teen years with fewer problems. This study is an important first step in developing such a program."

In the future, Ranney hopes to also study teen boys and non-English speaking patients as possible participants in the delivery of counseling and behavioral skills text messaging. "By developing evidence-based text-message interventions, clinicians may be able to have a big influence on these teens' coping skills, involvement in fights and life choices," said Ranney.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lifespan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Megan L. Ranney, Esther K. Choo, Rebecca M. Cunningham, Anthony Spirito, Margaret Thorsen, Michael J. Mello, Kathleen Morrow. Acceptability, Language, and Structure of Text Message-Based Behavioral Interventions for High-Risk Adolescent Females: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.017

Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Texting program good option for teen girls' health, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312114828.htm>.
Lifespan. (2014, March 12). Texting program good option for teen girls' health, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312114828.htm
Lifespan. "Texting program good option for teen girls' health, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312114828.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins