New information and communication technologies such as cell phone communication hold great potential for improvements in health care access and delivery. This paper addresses the use of text messaging for patient communication. It includes a case study that is one of the first to examine the use of text messaging to notify patients of STD results. Findings from 2 focus groups with 15 participants from an urban STD clinic show patients reacted positively regarding the use of text messages. Reasons for positive reactions include ease of use; privacy, convenience; control over the process; and the speed of receiving and responding to a text message. Participants’ concerns about sending health information over text message include lack of privacy; and access to cell phone and cost. The new information age and the availability of internet and computers have created room for the advancement of communication in health.
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Thesis advisor: Corbett, Kitty
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