The Cameroon Mobile Phone SMS (CAMPS) trial: a randomized trial of text messaging versus usual care for adherence to antiretroviral therapy

Lawrence Mbuagbaw, Lehana Thabane, Pierre Ongolo-Zogo, Richard T Lester, Edward J Mills, Marek Smieja, Lisa Dolovich, Charles Kouanfack
PloS One 2012, 7 (12): e46909

BACKGROUND: Mobile phone technology is a novel way of delivering health care and improving health outcomes. This trial investigates the use of motivational mobile phone text messages (SMS) to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) over six months.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: CAMPS was a single-site randomized two-arm parallel design trial in Yaoundé, Cameroon. We enrolled and randomized HIV-positive adults on ART, aged 21 years and above to receive a weekly standardized motivational text message versus usual care alone. The primary outcome was adherence measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS), number of doses missed (in the week preceding the interview) and pharmacy refill data. Outcomes were measured at 3 and 6 months. Service providers and outcome assessors were blinded to allocation. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. Between November and December 2010, 200 participants were randomized, with 101 in the intervention group and 99 in the control group. At 6 months, overall retention was 81.5%. We found no significant effect on adherence by VAS>95% (risk ratio [RR] 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.89, 1.29; p = 0.542; reported missed doses (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.87, 1.16; p>0.999) or number of pharmacy refills (mean difference [MD] 0.1, 95% CI: 0.23, 0.43; p = 0.617. One participant in the intervention arm reported a possible disclosure of status.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Standardized motivational mobile phone text messages did not significantly improve adherence to ART in this study. Other types of messaging or longer term studies are recommended.

REGISTRATION: 1. Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry; PACTR201011000261458 2.; NCT01247181.

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