The effect of SMS messaging on the compliance with iron supplementation among pregnant women in Iran: a randomized controlled trial

Publication Year: June 2014

Authors: Marzieh Rakhsh Khorshid, Poorandokht Afshari, Parvin Abedi

Contributing Organization: Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

Background: Anemia during pregnancy is recognized as a common complication among pregnant women. Adherence to treatment is low because of the side effects of consuming iron supplements. SMS text messages may have the potential to deliver regular reminders to beneficiaries. This study examines the effect of SMS text messages on compliance to iron supplementation among pregnant women in Iran.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted on 116 pregnant women who had a gestational age of 14-16 weeks. Participants were randomized to the control group that received usual standard of care, or to a 12-weel intervention group that received SMS reminders in addition to standard care. Both groups received iron supplements and were guided about how to consume iron tablets.

Results: Women in the intervention group (94%) had high compliance with iron supplements compared to the control group (66%); with a statistically significant difference (P=0.003).

Conclusions: SMS reminders is an effective intervention to improve compliance to iron supplements among pregnant women. However, better compliance to medication did not improve anemia.