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Wayne State University

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Wayne State University researcher to evaluate success of text message diabetes intervention

January 17, 2013

DETROIT — A Wayne State University researcher has received a combined $36,000 in grants from the Southeastern Michigan Health Association and Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc. to help determine the success of a Type 2 diabetes intervention program currently being piloted in southeast Michigan, greater Cincinnati and New Orleans.

In “Txt4health: A Program Evaluation,” Lorraine Buis, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing specializing in adult health, will focus on txt4Health, a 14-week text message-based behavioral intervention targeting Type 2 diabetes and its risks.

Txt4health is a joint venture of the American Diabetes Association; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC); Voxiva, an interactive mobile health services company; and the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community, Greater Cincinnati Beacon Community and Crescent City Beacon Community in New Orleans.

The entities piloting the free program are all part of the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program, which comprises 17 diverse communities nationwide in which an ONC grant initiative is helping to build and strengthen health information technology infrastructure that supports clinical quality improvement and population health goals.

Txt4health delivers tailored messages to users based on their individual risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. It includes several different approaches to promoting lifestyle and behavioral changes, including physical activity self-monitoring, physical activity and weight goal setting, tailored physical activity and nutrition messages, and motivational messaging.

The first part of Buis’s evaluation will involve a retrospective analysis of system data to understand participant usage of txt4health. The second will consist of a participant survey to understand user perceptions and satisfaction with the program.

“This two-phased evaluation will help us understand how a public health text message program focusing on type 2 diabetes is perceived by users within the community,” Buis said. “In addition, this evaluation will shed light on how individuals use an automated text message-based intervention.”

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.

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