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A Proof of Concept Study Demonstrating the Feasibility of a Text Message Prompt for Hepatitis C Testing in the 1945-1965 Birth Cohort.
Fisk RJ, Kumar D, Kellogg JB, Murphy DR, Staggers KA, Arya M. A Proof of Concept Study Demonstrating the Feasibility of a Text Message Prompt for Hepatitis C Testing in the 1945-1965 Birth Cohort. Cureus. 2019 May 24; 11(5):e4745.
Purpose Despite national recommendations stating all individuals in the 1945-1965 "birth cohort" be tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV), testing rates remain low. The purpose of this proof of concept study was to assess the feasibility of text messaging to promote HCV testing among birth cohort patients. Methods Participants were assigned to receive a text message to promote HCV testing, or a general health message as a control. Participants were sent the message immediately prior to an upcoming appointment. Patients not enrolled in the study were in the standard-of-care group. To assess the impact of the text on HCV test orders on the appointment date participant charts were reviewed. Results The sample was largely non-Hispanic, Caucasian, and female. Of participants sent the HCV message (n = 22), 50.0% had a test ordered, compared to 41.7% and 27.5% in the control (n = 13) and standard-of-care groups (n = 69), respectively. Conclusion This proof of concept study demonstrated the feasibility of text messaging to promote HCV testing among birth cohort patients. Those receiving the HCV message were more likely to have an HCV test ordered compared to those who received no message, although this difference was not statistically significant. A larger study is needed to confirm these results.