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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2018 May 1;22(5):530-536. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.17.0521.

Patterns of usage and preferences of users for tuberculosis-related text messages and voice calls in Uganda.

Author information

1
Uganda Tuberculosis Implementation Research Consortium, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
2
Uganda Tuberculosis Implementation Research Consortium, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
3
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California San Francisco and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California, USA; Curry International Tuberculosis Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
4
Uganda Tuberculosis Implementation Research Consortium, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
5
Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
6
Uganda Tuberculosis Implementation Research Consortium, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, England, UK.
7
Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
8
Uganda Tuberculosis Implementation Research Consortium, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
9
Uganda Tuberculosis Implementation Research Consortium, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine Section, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little information exists about mobile phone usage or preferences for tuberculosis (TB) related health communications in Uganda.

METHODS:

We surveyed household contacts of TB patients in urban Kampala, Uganda, and clinic patients in rural central Uganda. Questions addressed mobile phone access, usage, and preferences for TB-related communications. We collected qualitative data about messaging preferences.

RESULTS:

We enrolled 145 contacts and 203 clinic attendees. Most contacts (58%) and clinic attendees (75%) owned a mobile phone, while 42% of contacts and 10% of clinic attendees shared one; 94% of contacts and clinic attendees knew how to receive a short messaging service (SMS) message, but only 59% of contacts aged 45 years (vs. 96% of contacts aged <45 years, P = 0.0001) did so. All contacts and 99% of clinic attendees were willing and capable of receiving personal-health communications by SMS. Among contacts, 55% preferred detailed messages disclosing test results, while 45% preferred simple messages requesting a clinic visit to disclose results.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most urban household TB contacts and rural clinic attendees reported having access to a mobile phone and willingness to receive TB-related personal-health communications by voice call or SMS. However, frequent phone sharing and variable messaging abilities and preferences suggest a need to tailor the design and monitoring of mHealth interventions to target recipients.

PMID:
29663958
DOI:
10.5588/ijtld.17.0521

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