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.

Related Articles


"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 December 19, 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 December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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