Want Pregnant Women to Get Vaccinated? Text Messages Do Not Work

Texts Do Not Promote Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy
Texts Do Not Promote Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy

(HealthDay News) – Text messages encouraging pregnant women to get an influenza vaccination are ineffective, according to a study published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. A related study in the same journal examines factors predicting influenza vaccination among pregnant women.

In the first study, Michelle Henninger, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, OR, and colleagues surveyed 552 pregnant women who had not already received the influenza vaccine during the 2010–2011 influenza season regarding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about vaccination. The researchers found that vaccination was predicted by trust in recommended guidelines, perceived sensitivity to influenza, perceived seriousness of influenza, perceived regret about not getting vaccinated, and concerns about vaccine safety.

In the second study, Michelle H. Moniz, MD, from Magee-Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues randomly assigned 216 pregnant women at <28 weeks' gestation who had not already received the influenza vaccine to 12 weekly text messages encouraging general pregnancy health or texts encouraging general pregnancy health plus influenza vaccination. The researchers found that the influenza vaccine rate was similar in the two groups, at 31% for the general pregnancy health group and 33% for the influenza vaccination group.

"Text messaging prompts were not effective at increasing influenza vaccination rates among a low-income, urban, ambulatory obstetric population," Moniz and colleagues conclude.

Two authors from the first study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract - Henninger
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Moniz
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)