Texting Important Health Messages (HLOL #57)

Julie Gazmararian PhD is Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has over 25 years of experience conducting public health research in both the public and private sector. Her research focuses on a range of topics including reproductive health, children’s health, health promotion, and health literacy.

Dr. Gazmararian has published many articles on health literacy topics including medication refill adherence and use of preventive services. Now she is evaluating an innovative project called “Text4Baby” that brings together text messaging with prenatal/newborn care.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How “Text4Baby” is being used to teach about prenatal and newborn care.
  • Why text messaging is a communication tool to consider now.
  • What researchers are learning early in the evaluation process.
  • Recommendations for using text messaging in your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Text4Baby. Available for free at http://text4baby.org
  • Osborne H. “In Other Words…Using text messages to improve medication adherence,” On Call magazine. September 18, 2008. Available athttp://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=7987
  • Archer N, Cocosila M, Haynes RB, Yuan Y. “Can wireless text messaging improve adherence to preventive activities? Results of a randomised controlled trial.” International Journal of Medical Informatics. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Balas EA, Boren SA, Krishna S. “Healthcare via cell phones: a systematic review.” Journal of the American Telemedicine Association. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Chen WS, Leong KC, bLeong KW, Mastura I, Mimi O, Ng CJ, Phua KL, Sheikh MA, Teng CL, Zailinawati AH. “The use of text messaging to improve attendance in primary care: a randomized controlled trial.” Family Practice. (2006). PubMed. Web. 30 Dec. 2009.
  • Fry JP, Neff RA. “Periodic prompts and reminders in health promotion and health behavior interventions: systematic review.” Journal of Medical Internet Research. (2009). PubMed. Web. 28 Dec. 2009.
  • Haller DM, Patton GC, Sanci LA, Sawyer SM. “Text message communication in primary care research: a randomized controlled trial.” Family Practice. (2009). PubMed. Web. 30 Dec. 2009.

Helping Others Understand Health Messages (HLOL #56)

Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, M.S., and Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, are general internists at the White River Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center in Vermont. They also are professors of medicine, and community and family medicine, at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire.

Together, they are working to address two important barriers to health communication: 1) many patients and providers are limited in their ability to interpret medical data, and 2) health messages are often exaggerated or incomplete. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Woloshin have written extensively on this topic and are co-authors of several books including Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics and Overdiagnosed.

In this podcast, they talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Health statistics, health messages, and health claims. Helping people make sense of what they hear on the news, see on TV, and read in the ads.
  • Three questions to help others better understand health messages.
  • Ways to communicate complicated health messages more simply and clearly.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, Welch HG, Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics. University of California Press, 2008. (The book can be downloaded for free from http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html
  • Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin, Overdiagnosed. Beacon Press, 2011.
  • S Woloshin, LM Schwartz, BS Kramer. “Promoting health skepticism in the news: Helping journalists get it right,” J Natl Cancer Institute 101(23): 1596–1599.
  • “Healthy Skepticism,” White River Junction Outcomes Group. Available at http://www.vaoutcomes.org/washpost.php
  • Osborne H, “In Other Words…Working With Numbers,” On Call magazine, June/July 2004. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3745