How effective are mobile phone messaging reminders for attendance at healthcare appointments?
The studies were heterogeneous and the quality of the evidence was low to moderate. None of the studies reported on health outcomes, user evaluation of the interventions, user perceptions of safety, costs or potential harms, or on any adverse effects of the interventions.
Missed appointments are a major cause of inefficiency in healthcare delivery, with substantial monetary costs for the health system, leading to delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Patients’ forgetfulness is one of the main reasons for missed appointments, and reminders may help alleviate this problem. Mobile phone messaging applications could provide an important, inexpensive delivery medium for reminders for healthcare appointments.