Promoting Healthy Behaviors in Pediatric and Adolescent Populations: Text-Messaging Interventions

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This paper aims to assess the “Systematic Review of Text-Messaging Interventions to Promote Healthy Behaviors in Pediatric and Adolescent Populations: Implications for Clinical Practice and Research” by Militello, Kelly, and Melnyk performed in 2012. The work will analyze and critique the quality of the research.


The review was created to address the following question: “In pediatric and adolescent populations, how does the use of text message based interventions versus control or comparison interventions affect healthy lifestyle behaviors?” The individual research materials were selected by filtering the results of the comprehensive online search using Google Scholar, PubMed, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO online databases. The research papers were included in the review based on the following criteria. The research design was a randomized controlled trial or quasi-experiment. The target group was primarily ≤18 years of age, as well as their parents. The intervention included text messaging to impact health behavior. A health behavior outcome was assessed using pre-/post tests. The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal. The review includes a total of 8 articles. Two of those represent the same research. Six of the studies were randomized controlled trials. One was a randomized crossover design study. Another one was a quasi experimental study. All of the studies report positive effects of the text message based interventions. These include an increase in regularity of blood glucose monitoring, increase in diabetes self-efficacy, and severe reduction of rejection risks in transplantation patients. The review concludes that mobile phones are a more effective intervention mode, compared to other technological devices. However, the long-term efficiency of the text message interventions is questionable.


The topic of the review is clearly defined by the question it explores. The methods used to create the paper are described in detail. The search used most of the major sources of medical information on the Internet. The initial selection included 687 articles. The search methodology can be viewed as unbiased and comprehensive. After the initial search, the articles were filtered by the strict quality criteria, leaving only 37 articles after analyzing the contents and only seven after quality control. The review contains the analysis of the methods and findings of the selected research papers. The reviewers approach the selected papers with caution, assessing and criticizing different aspects of the research, such as populations, length, and the texting strategy. They also compare and contrast the results of different studies, noting the inconsistencies and deviations. Based on the full analysis of the articles a comprehensive conclusion was drawn. All of the research articles used for the review concur that text message based interventions are effective in supporting healthy behaviors in pediatric and adolescent populations. The reviewers draw a credible conclusion that texting is a viable supplement for various medical practices. They do also note that more academic research is needed to find the best ways to implement such interventions.


Integrative research reviews are a viable instrument to assess and analyze certain methodologies. Comparing and contrasting large amounts of information is a great way to fully analyze all of the advantages and drawbacks of the technique. Without such reviews, it is very easy to be misled by a single faulty research. The modern state of the information technologies allows anybody to perform reviews. The researcher can use powerful search engines to find and filter all of the relevant information. Doing so is extremely beneficial for any medical practitioner as it allows him or her to select the most efficient approach to clinical practice and avoid mistakes.

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