New Research Study Analyzes Effectiveness of Text Messaging vs. Phone Calling

Overview of the study

Dr. Deepthi Varma, faculty in the UF Department of Epidemiology, is conducting a study through HealthStreet to compare the effectiveness of different types of reminders such as telephone calls or text messaging or both telephone calls and text messaging to increase the rate of use of referrals provided to HealthStreet members by the Community Health Workers during their initial contact.


What is HealthStreet?

HealthStreet is a community engagement research initiative with the University of Florida. Community Health Workers (CHWs) meet people out where they are and conduct health needs assessments with community members. Based on these assessments and the community members’ expressed health and social needs, we provide medical and social referrals.

Why aren’t referrals being utilized as best as they could?

The main reasons reported by community members were:
• They lost the referral slip
• Forgot about the referrals
• Were too busy with other things in life

How can the study help community members?

This study aims to increase the rate of utilization of the social and medical referrals provided by CHWs so that HealthStreet can be the most effective for its community members. Discussions with our participants indicated that it will be helpful if we could remind them about these referrals either by calling or texting.