Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Area of Focus

Social Sciences

Abstract

SMS Parent Action iNtervention (SPAN): Using text messaging to promote child health on an American Indian Reservation

Purpose: Childhood obesity and its associated health risks are widely recognized as a major public health crisis in the United States (Johnson & Johnson, 2014; Proctor, 2008; Rogers et al, 2013; Vinci et al, 2016). Prevention efforts include focusing on educating parents with young children on healthy habits. Text messaging is an attractive means of communication because it is portable, cost-effective, accessible, and able to reach across demographic spheres to serve underserved and rural populations (Terry, 2008). The primary purpose of the SMS (Short Messaging System or text messaging) Parent Action iNtervention (SPAN) trial was to assess the feasibility of a texting intervention to improve obesity-related health behaviors in young children living on or near an American Indian reservation.

Methods: SPAN trial is a 5-week, one-group, pre- to post- test pilot study. Cluster and snowball sampling was used to recruit parents with children aged 3 to 5 to participate in the study. At the beginning of the intervention, participants completed a survey about their child’s behaviors, they then received three text messages focused on establishing healthy childhood habits each week for 5 weeks. Topics included childhood nutrition, physical activity and sleep requirements, and recommendations for limiting screen time and sugary beverage consumption. Each week participants were prompted to respond to one question about their child’s behavior specific to the weekly topic. At the end of the 5-week intervention, participants completed a survey about the timing, frequency and content of the text messages, as well as their child’s behaviors. Participants were given $50 cash upon completion of the study.

Results: Recruitment yielded 17 parents who enrolled in the study (mean age = 34 years, 88% female, 47% Native American). Each participant received 17 intervention text messages over 5 weeks. No participant opted out of receiving intervention messages. For each participant, 5 of the text messages were survey questions that requested a response. For all participants, of the 85 text messages that requested a response, 78 (91%) were returned with a response that answered the survey question. Follow up assessments are on-going, with 12 out of 17 (71%) participants completed.

Discussion: Texting is a feasible and acceptable intervention medium for sending and receiving messages related to diet and exercise (Shaw & Bosworth, 2012); however, there has been minimal research conducted on text messaging obesity prevention health topics to parents of young children living on or near American Indian reservations in rural settings. Our study targets this gap in the literature and helps guide future research using text messaging to promote child health and prevent obesity.

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Apr 27th, 10:40 AM Apr 27th, 10:55 AM

SMS Parent Action Intervention (SPAN): Using text messaging to promote child health on an American Indian Reservation

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

SMS Parent Action iNtervention (SPAN): Using text messaging to promote child health on an American Indian Reservation

Purpose: Childhood obesity and its associated health risks are widely recognized as a major public health crisis in the United States (Johnson & Johnson, 2014; Proctor, 2008; Rogers et al, 2013; Vinci et al, 2016). Prevention efforts include focusing on educating parents with young children on healthy habits. Text messaging is an attractive means of communication because it is portable, cost-effective, accessible, and able to reach across demographic spheres to serve underserved and rural populations (Terry, 2008). The primary purpose of the SMS (Short Messaging System or text messaging) Parent Action iNtervention (SPAN) trial was to assess the feasibility of a texting intervention to improve obesity-related health behaviors in young children living on or near an American Indian reservation.

Methods: SPAN trial is a 5-week, one-group, pre- to post- test pilot study. Cluster and snowball sampling was used to recruit parents with children aged 3 to 5 to participate in the study. At the beginning of the intervention, participants completed a survey about their child’s behaviors, they then received three text messages focused on establishing healthy childhood habits each week for 5 weeks. Topics included childhood nutrition, physical activity and sleep requirements, and recommendations for limiting screen time and sugary beverage consumption. Each week participants were prompted to respond to one question about their child’s behavior specific to the weekly topic. At the end of the 5-week intervention, participants completed a survey about the timing, frequency and content of the text messages, as well as their child’s behaviors. Participants were given $50 cash upon completion of the study.

Results: Recruitment yielded 17 parents who enrolled in the study (mean age = 34 years, 88% female, 47% Native American). Each participant received 17 intervention text messages over 5 weeks. No participant opted out of receiving intervention messages. For each participant, 5 of the text messages were survey questions that requested a response. For all participants, of the 85 text messages that requested a response, 78 (91%) were returned with a response that answered the survey question. Follow up assessments are on-going, with 12 out of 17 (71%) participants completed.

Discussion: Texting is a feasible and acceptable intervention medium for sending and receiving messages related to diet and exercise (Shaw & Bosworth, 2012); however, there has been minimal research conducted on text messaging obesity prevention health topics to parents of young children living on or near American Indian reservations in rural settings. Our study targets this gap in the literature and helps guide future research using text messaging to promote child health and prevent obesity.