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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 196-202

The effect of a reminder short message service on the uptake of glaucoma screening by first-degree relatives of glaucoma patients: A randomized controlled trial


1 Tulsi Chanrai Foundation, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Olukorede O Adenuga
Department of Ophthalmology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_98_19

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the role of a reminder short message service (SMS) on the uptake of glaucoma screening by first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in North-central Nigeria following a telephone invitation for screening. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in the eye clinic of a tertiary hospital in Jos, North-central Nigeria. Two hundred FDRs of patients with POAG were invited through phone for free glaucoma screening and randomly allocated into two groups. The intervention group received a reminder SMS, whereas the control group did not receive a reminder. Those who failed to turn up for screening were contacted through phone to determine the reasons for their nonattendance. Chi-square test and bivariate analysis were used to compare attendance rate between the two groups. RESULTS: Sending a reminder SMS following a telephone invitation had no effect on the uptake of glaucoma screening. The response rate was lower in the phone call plus reminder SMS group (43.0% vs. 53.0%) though the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.157). Competing needs such as work and lack of transport fare were the most common reasons given for not attending the screening. CONCLUSION: A reminder text message is not an effective tool for increasing the uptake of glaucoma screening in at-risk individuals in North-central Nigeria. Existing barriers to health care in the country need to be addressed before mobile phone technology can be effectively used in increasing the utilization of any free eye screening service.


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