The effect of text messaging on latent tuberculosis treatment adherence: a randomised controlled trial


November 17, 2017

There is limited high-quality evidence available to inform the use of text messaging to improve latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment adherence. This study was a parallel, randomised controlled trial at two sites to assess the effect of a two-way short message service (SMS) on LTBI adherence in British Columbia Canada. Participants were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to standard LTBI treatment (control) or standard LTBI treatment plus two-way weekly text messaging (intervention). The primary outcome was treatment completion, defined as taking >80% prescribed doses within 12 months (isoniazid) or 6 months (rifampin) of enrolment. Although this trial showed that a high proportion (>80%) of persons supported with WelTel completed their treatment regimen, there was not a statistically significant difference compared to the those in the control group. Other parameters such as the HRQoL and perceived healthcare communication also showed no improvement. There was a trend towards participants in the intervention arm contacting healthcare providers more frequently in relation to medication side effects and contacting the clinic less frequently regarding appointment confirmation/rescheduling, a finding that requires exploration. There were several limitations in this study well-described in the full-text article.


Author(s)

Johnston JC., van der Kop ML, Smillie K, Ogilvie G, Marra F, Sadatsafavi M, Romanowski K, Budd MA, Hajek J, Cook V.

Abstract

European Respiratory Journal 2018 51: 1701488; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.01488-2017