Research Article - Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology (2023) Volume 7, Issue 5
The effectiveness of mobile message (SMS) and phone calls to improve the referral system of the diabetic patientsâ?? from diabetic retinopathy screening sites to the tertiary eye care center of Nepal.
Background: Diabetes mellitus is an emerging health problem worldwide and likewise in Nepal. Diabetes is growing like an epidemic in urban Nepal affecting 19% of the population above the age of 40 years. The study helps to assess if Short Message System (SMS) and phone calls can serve as effective tools for follow up of diabetic retinopathy cases from the screening sites to the tertiary eye hospitals.
Method: This study was a hospital based multi-centered, prospective comparative study. Three arms with intervention consisted of (i) Text messaging, commonly referred to as Short Message Service (SMS), (ii) Telephone reminders (iii) Dual reminders i.e ., both telephonic and SMS. “Counselling only” group did not get any reminder notice.
Results: A total of 1100 members were enrolled for the final analysis. Out of the 1100 study participants, 491 were females (44.6%) and 609% were males (55.4%). The failure to follow up was analyzed in different group. The follow up rate is significantly higher in SMS/phone group than in counselling only group, with 95% CI (1.60-4.46; and P=0.000). However, no significant differences were observed between the phone group and control group (P=0.831) and between the SMS group and the control group (P=0.833).
Conclusion: In this study, the percentage of follow up was found significantly higher in the intervention group that received dual reminders from both SMS as well as telephone calls as compared to the control group. In contrast, the rates of follow up with other two interventions groups (SMS group and Phone group) were not significantly different from the control group.Author(s): Sanjita Sharma*, Raba Thapa, Sanyam Bajimaya, Eli Pradhan, Bal Bahadur Chhetri, Govinda Paudyal