Acceptability, feasibility and preliminary impact evaluation of a pilot text-message study on improving the health of Aboriginal people with, or at risk of, chronic disease in Australia

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Health Promotion Journal of Australia


Issue addressed: Aboriginal people experience higher rates of chronic disease than other Australians, largely due to modifiable risk factors. This study aimed to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility and preliminary impact of a pilot text-message program on improving the health of Aboriginal people with, or at risk of, chronic disease. Methods: A before and after study using a convenience sample of Aboriginal Australian adults determined the impact of a 6-month healthy lifestyle text-message intervention on lifestyle behavioural measures including nutrition, physical activity and smoking. Process evaluation of participants and program facilitators determined program acceptability and feasibility. Results: Twenty Aboriginal people enrolled in the study, with high study completion and program acceptability. The two program facilitators reported the low-cost automated text-message program to be highly acceptable, feasible to deliver and led to environmental program changes. Preliminary impact data showed significant improvements in vegetable consumption at 3 and 6 months, but not for other health outcome measures. Conclusions: The text-message program was highly acceptable and feasible to deliver, and has potential as an adjunct to usual care. Further research is required to determine program efficacy with a larger sample size. So what?: Text-messages to improve the health of Aboriginal people are highly acceptable, feasible to deliver and can complement existing community-led group programs. Further testing of this low-cost program is warranted to determine program efficacy.

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