A pilot study on effectiveness of Short Text Messages (SMS) as a Reminder System for Making Working Women from Delhi Breast Aware
Khokhar, Anita (2010) A pilot study on effectiveness of Short Text Messages (SMS) as a Reminder System for Making Working Women from Delhi Breast Aware. Indian Journal of Medical Informatics, 5 (1). pp. 6-7. ISSN 0973-9254
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Breast cancer is on the rise in Indian subcontinent but the knowledge of women about breast self awareness is dismal. In order to make Breast self exam a part of lifestyle a reminder system needs to be develop. Material and method: A community based study was conducted during 2008-09 amongst women employees from various offices of Delhi. A total of 424 women who volunteered to participate in the study were trained in the technique of breast self-examination (BSE) with the help of a lecture, video, demonstration of the technique on breast model by the investigator followed by feedback demonstration by the technique participants. Subsequently, short text messages (SMS) were sent according to the last menstrual period (LMP) information collected. Women who did not menstruate were sent reminders on the first of every month. Statistical analysis: was done using Epinfo software. Results: All the 424 participants owned a personal mobile number. While 83% had a private connection of cell phone and 17% had a connection provided by a government agency. The delivery status of the SMS could be confirmed in majority of the instances. From amongst those who did not do the self exam the main barriers to BSE identified were that they were casual about it and did not bother (74%), busy (27%), anxiety (13%), pain in the breasts (2%) and were not confident of doing it (2%). Multiple responses were included. All the participants were followed up with sms reminders for the next one year. At the end of 5 months of sending reminders statistically significant number of women had started doing a breast self exam to become breast aware. (p less then 0.5). Conclusion: sms can be used as an effective reminder system to make women breast aware.
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