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Mobile phone text messaging for promoting adherence to anti-tuberculosis treatment: a systematic review protocol

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Author(s): Nglazi Mweete D | Bekker Linda-Gail | Wood Robin | Hussey Gregory D | Wiysonge Charles S

Journal: Systematic Reviews
ISSN 2046-4053

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Mobile phone | Text messages | Tuberculosis treatment | Anti-tubercular agents | Adherence | Compliance

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background In 2010, there were approximately 8.8 million incident cases of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. The treatment of TB is at least six months long and may be complicated by a high pill burden. In addition, TB patients often do not take their medication on schedule simply because they forget. Mobile phone text messaging has the potential to help promote TB treatment adherence. We, therefore, propose to conduct a review of current best evidence for the use of mobile phone text messaging to promote patient adherence to TB treatment. Methods This is a systematic review of the literature. We will preferably include randomized controlled trials (RCTs). However, non-randomized studies (NRS) will be considered if there is an inadequate number of RCTs. We will search PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, CENTRAL, Science Citation Index, Africa-Wide Information, and WHOLIS electronic databases for eligible studies available by 30 November 2012 regardless of language or publication status. We will also check reference lists for additional studies, identify abstracts from conference proceedings and communicate with authors for any relevant material. At least two authors will independently screen search outputs, select studies, extract data and assess the risk of bias (using separate criteria for RCTs and NRS); resolving discrepancies by discussion and consensus. We will assess clinical heterogeneity by examining the types of participants, interventions and outcomes in each study and pool studies judged to be clinically homogenous. We will also assess statistical heterogeneity using the chi-square test of homogeneity and quantify it using the I-square statistic. If study results are found to be statistically homogeneous (that is heterogeneity P > 0.1), we will pool them using the fixed-effect meta-analysis. Otherwise, we will use random-effects meta-analysis. We will calculate risk ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals for dichotomous outcomes, and mean differences for continuous outcomes. For other outcomes without quantitative data, a descriptive analysis will be used. Discussion Our results can be used by researchers and policy-makers to help inform them of the efficacy of mobile phone text messaging interventions to promote patient adherence to TB treatment.
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