Text messaging intervention for Pap smear uptake: a single-institution study

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Cervical cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death among women in many parts of the world. With the increasing proliferation of mobile technology, text messaging interventions have been effective in improving Pap smear uptake in non-United States populations. This study evaluated whether text message reminders from a health system in Galveston, Texas, USA increased uptake of cervical cancer screening as compared to usual care. A single text message reminder was sent to 16,002 unique patient phone numbers using the Televox Communication Program from February 20, 2019, to April 4, 2019. The institution's population health database was subsequently used to determine if patients received cervical cancer screening (Pap smear) following the text message transmission. Patient demographics within text message and control groups were compared using Chi-square tests. Our text messaging intervention to improve Pap smear rates did not show a statistically significant difference between the intervention group receiving a text message and the control. However, there were significant interactions between text messages and age, financial class, and county (P=0.0023, 0.0299, and <0.0001, respectively). Text messaging did have a positive impact on our most vulnerable patient populations given that the text messaging intervention showed a marginally higher rate of Pap smear among Medicaid and low-income/uninsured (MLIU) patients. Text messaging interventions do have effectiveness in increasing Pap smear uptake in populations which are most impacted by health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118294
StatePublished - Oct 30 2023


  • Text messaging
  • cervical cancer screening
  • health outcomes
  • population health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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