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August 04, 2010

Teens receiving text messages observed as valuable diabetic treatment

Receiving text messages as reminders about diabetes treatment & care may help keep teens on track to properly manage the disease.
A researcher from Nationwide Children's Hospital  Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH, an endocrinologist at the hospital, completed a pilot study to test the effect of sending customized text messages each week reminding adolescents about their personal treatment routines for diabetes.

During the study, she sent personalized questions & reminders specific to diabetes adherence activities in addition to friendly, supportive messages to her patients. By asking questions about glucose testing, meal boluses & frequency of high & low glucoses, Dr. Dyer has seen an increase in teens taking their medications.  

Teens are less likely to adhere to treatment plans, but Dyer found that teens receiving text messages about their treatments responded with improved blood glucose levels after better adherence to treatments. "If adolescent diabetes patients do not adhere to their treatment & medication plan, it can result in difficulty concentrating in school or functioning throughout the day," said Dr. Dyer, also an assistant professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "Excellent control & treatment can 've a long term positive effect on a patient with diabetes."

Studies 've shown that adolescent patients 've a greater difficulty adhering to treatment & medication activities than adults. Thus, there is a significant correlation between increased independence & decreased treatment adherence in adolescents. The rate of medication non-adherence among adolescent recipients is approximately four times higher than that among adult recipients. 

Dr. Dyer, who is also a principle investigator  in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children''s Hospital said that "This form of communication allows for real-time health management which is extremely valuable for patients that suffer from a chronic illness like diabetes."

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