Dr. Lehana Thabane with CTN's first International Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Lawrence Mbuagbaw (Cameroon) in Toronto.

The Cameroon mobile phone sms trial

CTN’s first International Fellow, Dr. Lawrence Mbuagbaw (Yaoundé Central Hospital, Cameroon), is leading CAMPS — The Cameroon mobile phone sms trial: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial of mobile phone text messaging versus usual care for improving adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy.

This single-centre trial investigates the potential of weekly reminders and motivational text messages, compared to standard of care, as an intervention to non-adherence behaviors such as forgetfulness. “CAMPS uses an extremely low-cost way to try and improve the lives of those living with HIV,” explains Dr. Mbuagbaw. Researchers will send out text messages and record delivery over a six-month period. The study’s primary outcomes are adherence measured by the visual analogue scale, self report and pharmacy re-fill; the secondary outcomes are clinical — weight, opportunistic infections, among others — and biological (viral load, CD4 count).

The trial successfully recruited 198 HIV-positive persons aged 21 and older, who own a mobile phone and can read text messages. “Receiving an sms is a cue to action for a more adherent behavior,” says Dr. Mbuagbaw. Results from this trial may contribute to the growing body of evidence on the use of mobile phone technology to improve health outcomes in resource-limited settings.

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