Cellphone Texting Program Improved TB Treatment Outcomes In Small Kenyan Study
New York Times: How to Get TB Patients to Take Their Pills? Persistent Texting and a ‘Winners Circle’
“…Health officials have tried many ways to persuade patients to comply [with four- to six-month treatment regimens for tuberculosis], from gentle encouragement to imprisonment in locked wards. Now researchers have come up with a new tactic: A program based on nagging cellphone texts succeeded in goading patients into taking their drugs in a preliminary test in Nairobi, Kenya, according to a study published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Patients who were enrolled in the phone program experienced 68 percent fewer bad outcomes — death, treatment failure, or loss of contact with the clinic — compared to patients who were not. … As a result, the United States Agency for International Development gave [the company] Keheala a grant to expand its trial to 16,000 Kenyans in eight counties…” (McNeil, 9/4).