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Text Messaging: An Innovative Educational Method

, College of Saint Mary, United States

College of Saint Mary . Awarded


Needs of healthcare consumers continue to change and thus healthcare trends must adhere to these changes to enable better outcomes. Pregnant adolescents often have high pregnancy and post-pregnancy risks for themselves and their children, which create educational needs; therefore implementation of healthcare education must change to better meet these needs. Home visitation, seen as the traditional means for education with this population, has proven effective in some cases, but continues to have limitations. These limitations are plentiful and may include monetary confinements from the delivering agency, a lack of transportation from the client and/or a need for many parenting adolescents to continue with work and/or school; all of these creating barriers for a home visit to occur. Child-bearing women, specifically single, adolescent mothers whom are often recipients of this visitation, continue to need education to increase compliance and follow-up for care. Compliance with healthcare needs and attending follow-up visits may relate to the well-being of both mother and child.

Due to the increase in limitations with home visiting, the use of text messaging (texting) with cell phone technology may be utilized in addition to continued medical care to enhance the education of a mother for herself and her child. The use of this technology is perceived as a more familiar concept with today’s adolescent population. This form of communication, through texting, may be used as a mechanism for monitoring compliance and providing education to pregnant and parenting adolescents.

The use of texting for postpartum education in this study allowed for more frequent periods of contact, enabling communication in variable settings. This in turn resulted in improved outcomes for the mothers and their children related to the areas studied including the prolonged use of breast milk, compliance with the recommended childhood immunization schedule and compliance with follow-up care.

The following study also unveiled the perceptions of current maternal-child nurses regarding the proposed use of text messaging for increased compliance with the adolescent population. The nurses involved with this study as a composite identified themes as proposed initiators such as “useful for educational purposes,” “personally feasible and effective” and reported a desired “interest in use.” Perceptions were also identified from the post-partum adolescent mothers personally utilizing the text messaging service. The adolescent mothers reported the text messaging as a “communication preference” and identified this method as an easy way to “obtain needed education.” The post-partum adolescents also mirrored the nurses’ views of utilizing text messaging as a “feasible and effective means” for post-partum follow-up and education; the adolescents also reported a wish for “continued service.” Identification of themes from these results indicate utilizing text messaging as an additive educational means for the adolescent population may be beneficial to both the nurses and the recipients of care. This method could fill a current void and allow for greater overall outcomes for mother and child.


Goomis, S.E. Text Messaging: An Innovative Educational Method. Ph.D. thesis, College of Saint Mary. Retrieved March 23, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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