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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014 May-Jun;36(3):249-54. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2014.02.004. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

A feasibility pilot study on the use of text messages to track PTSD symptoms after a traumatic injury.

Author information

1
University of Vermont, Department of Psychology, John Dewey Hall, Room 248 2 Colchester Ave, Burlington, VT 05405. Electronic address: Matthew.Price@uvm.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, SC.
3
Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
4
College of Nursing, Technology Applications Center for Health Lifestyles, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; College of Nursing, Technology Applications Center for Health Lifestyles, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Monitoring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms after a traumatic injury is beneficial for patients and providers. Text messages can be used to automatically monitor symptoms and impose minimal burden to patients and providers. The present study piloted such a strategy with traumatic injury patients.

METHOD:

An automated daily text message was piloted to evaluate PTSD symptoms after discharge from the hospital. Twenty-nine patients who experienced a traumatic injury received 15 daily texts and were then followed up at 1-month and 3-months after discharge.

RESULTS:

82.8% of the sample responded at least once and the average response rate per participant was 63.1%. Response rates were correlated with PTSD symptoms at baseline but not at any other time. Patient satisfaction with this approach was high.

CONCLUSION:

Text messages are a viable method to monitor PTSD symptoms after a traumatic injury. Such an approach should be evaluated on a larger scale as part of a more comprehensive early intervention for traumatic stress.

KEYWORDS:

PTSD; Technology; Text messages; Traumatic stress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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