Send to

Choose Destination
Prev Med. 2013 Aug;57(2):75-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.04.007. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Parental and provider preferences and concerns regarding text message reminder/recall for early childhood vaccinations.

Author information

Division of Child and Adolescent Health, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.



To assess parental, provider, and medical staff opinions about text message reminder/recall for early childhood vaccination.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted between January and March 2011 among 200 parents of 6-59 month-old children, 26 providers, and 20 medical staff at four academically-affiliated pediatric practices in New York City with text messaging experience. Survey questions addressed interest in, preferences for, and concerns/barriers related to vaccine-related text message reminder/recall.


Parents were primarily Latino, Spanish-speaking, and had a high school education or less. Most parents owned a text message-enabled cell phone (89%) and used text messaging services (97%). While 84% had never received health-related text messages, 88% were comfortable receiving them. Nearly all parents reported interest in receiving reminder/recall text messages, many endorsing them over phone calls and/or letters. Preferences included personalization, interactivity, and multiple messages. While 25% of parents had no concerns, 38% were concerned about incorrect numbers; only 6% worried about cost. Providers and staff were also supportive of vaccine-related text messages. Their biggest concerns were correct cell phone numbers, appointment availability, and increased call volume.


Text message reminder/recall for early childhood vaccination was widely supported. Important barriers were identified that should be addressed to maximize their effectiveness.


Children; Immunization; Reminder/recall; Text message

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center