News | April 02, 2015

Text Message Reminders Boost Breast Cancer Screening Attendance

Study finds reminders could boost attendance by 20 percent

breast cancer screening, attendance, text message reminders, UK

April 2, 2015 — A new study found that women who received a text message reminder about their breast cancer screening appointment were 20 percent more likely to attend than those who were not texted. The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Researchers funded by the Imperial College Healthcare Charity trialled text message reminders for women 47-53 years old who were invited for their first appointment for breast cancer screening.

The team compared around 450 women who were sent a text with 435 women who were not texted. It found that 72 percent of women who were sent a text message reminder attended their screening appointment, compared with 60 percent who were not.

Text message reminders had the biggest impact on women from the most deprived areas who were 28 percent more likely to attend their first screening appointment if they were sent a text.

The research found that women were almost three times more likely to cancel their appointment in advance if they were sent a text message reminder.

Lead author Robert Kerrison, at the Cancer Research UK health behaviour unit at UCL, said: "We all forget things now and then, and doctor's appointments are no exception - in fact, forgetting is one of the most commonly cited reasons why women miss breast cancer screening appointments.

"Our research found that a cheap, simple text-message-reminder could boost the number of women — especially those from deprived areas — attending screening, or cancelling in advance. More trials are needed to confirm this, but texting could save valuable NHS resources."

Ian Lush, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare Charity, said: "The potential positive impact the study could have on the UK population's health is huge and goes far beyond the borders of London where the text message service was originally trialled. Research outcomes like this confirm the need for the charity to continue funding such pioneering work which will continue to help improve the health of the population."

Julie Sharp, M.D., Cancer Research UK's head of health information, said: "Research like this can help tackle practical barriers that sometimes stop women from attending screening appointments. Cancer screening can save lives, but it's important to remember there are risks as well as benefits. People should also receive good quality information to help them decide whether to take up a screening invitation."

Note: In the group of around 450 women texted, 380 had an active mobile number and received the text. The group of 435 women who were not texted had a mobile number registered with their general practitioner, but because they were not texted it was not possible to find the number of women with active mobile numbers.

For more information: www.bjcancer.com

Related Content

Novel Technique May Significantly Reduce Breast Biopsies
News | Breast Biopsy Systems | January 17, 2019
A novel technique that uses mammography to determine the biological tissue composition of a tumor could help reduce...
Digital Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection
News | Mammography | January 16, 2019
The shift from film to digital mammography increased the detection of breast cancer by 14 percent overall in the United...
Artificial Intelligence Used in Clinical Practice to Measure Breast Density
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 15, 2019
An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm measures breast density at the level of an experienced mammographer,...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Breast Imaging | January 11, 2019
Supplemental screening with ABUS helps personalize breast care for women with dense breasts and offers advanced...
Artificial intelligence, also called deep learning and machine learning, was the hottest topic at the 2018 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)) meeting.

Artificial intelligence was the hottest topic at the 2018 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)) meeting, which included a large area with its own presentation therater set asside for AI vendors.

Feature | Artificial Intelligence | January 10, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor
Hands down, the hottest topic in radiology the past two years has been the implementation of...
Electronic Brachytherapy Effective in Long-Term Study of 1,000 Early-Stage Breast Cancers
News | Brachytherapy Systems, Women's Healthcare | January 07, 2019
Breast cancer recurrence rates of patients treated with intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) using the Xoft Axxent...
Breast Cancer Patients Have Less Heart Damage With Heart Drug and Trastuzumab
News | Cardio-oncology | January 03, 2019
Breast cancer patients who take a heart drug at the same time as trastuzumab have less heart damage, according to a...
Opto-Acoustic Imaging Helps Differentiate Breast Cancer Molecular Subtypes
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | December 20, 2018
Seno Medical Instruments Inc. (Seno Medical) reported results of a study demonstrating that morphologic and functional...
GE Submits Initial Public Offering Paperwork for Healthcare Division
News | Radiology Business | December 19, 2018
December 19, 2018 — As part of its plans to spin off its healthcare division into a separate company, GE reportedly s
Axillary Radiotherapy and Lymph Node Surgery Yield Comparable Outcomes for Breast Cancer
News | Radiation Therapy | December 18, 2018
Early-stage breast cancer patients with cancer detected in a sentinel lymph node biopsy had comparable 10-year...