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Youth's acceptance of mobile phone text messaging for STI health promotion Symonds, Lindsay

Abstract

Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess youths’ readiness to receive sexually transmitted infection (STI) sexual health promotion Short Message Services (SMS) (or text messages) from a public health nurse. Methods: An anonymous survey was given to youth aged 16 to 25 in a metropolitan Canadian city in 2 different areas: (1) youth attending two drop-in public health run sexual health youth clinics; and (2) youth at a campus of a large urban university. Results: One hundred and sixty six (n= 166) youth responded to the survey, of which 98% owned a mobile phone and 73% preferred sending and receiving SMS on their phones compared to other modes of communication. The youth in this study still expressed a desire for face-to-face interaction with a nurse for notifications of STI results (56%) or for asking sexual health questions (55%). There was preference for SMS from a nurse for reminders to wear condoms (31%) or reminders to call the nurse/clinic (40%). The youth overall agreed that SMS would provide a continued link between the nurse and themselves (60%) and the ability to use SMS would make it more likely for them to contact the nurse for a question or concern (78%). Conclusion: Youth are using SMS on their mobile phones at very high rates. There is general acceptance for SMS sent from a public health nurse in the form of reminders for condom use and for contacting a nurse/clinic, however the youth also indicated preference for face-to-face communication for more personal communications such as notification of STI results.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

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