Use of Telephone Technology in Promoting Healthy Behavior


This integrative research review aims at investigating the use of phone technology in healthy behavior. In contemporary society, people largely engage in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors for convenience. On the other hand, these behaviors have had an economic impact on the economy of many countries like the United States (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009). The promotion of healthy behavior is an intervention strategy that could bring about a positive impact. The use of dynamic mobile technology was tentatively proposed as an ideal approach hence, the need for carrying out the study.

The reports were retrieved electronically between April and May 2011. Databases used included “MEDLINE, PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library and PsychoINFO”. The following search terms were used: “cellular phone, healthy lifestyle behaviors, short message service, adolescent, obesity, health promotion, text messaging, health behavior, texting, lifestyle, preventive health services and intervention” (Militello, Kelly, & Melnyk, 2012, p. 67). Also, backward searching was used. This involved the search of references, which met the review criteria, used in the study articles.

The inclusion criteria for studies to be included were the research design, population of study, intervention used, language, peer-reviewed, and use of a control. Only studies employing a randomized control trail or quasi-experimental research design were included. The population of interest included children aged 18 years and below. The intervention of interest was text messaging. Only studies written in English were included for review. Only seven studies met the inclusion criteria for the study. Most of the included studies were randomized controlled trials. One was quasi-experimental and another was a randomized crossover design study. Text messaging received more acceptance by the subjects compared with other modes of communication like e-mail. It was workable and better preferred if an informal approach was used.


The topic was well-defined but lacked to mention the locality in which the study would be conducted. One can tell what the research question is from the topic. In addition, it is possible to identify the study population. The methods used when conducting the review have been systemically described. To begin with, a PICO question was used to guide the review. An inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to select the studies from a comprehensive electronic database.

The inclusion and exclusion criteria were the governing principles for the studies to be reviewed. The review did not exhaust all the known online resources and there is no justification for choosing the electronic databases used in the article. Whereas the study reports are comprehensive and unbiased as far as the particular databases used in the review are concerned, the same does not stand true when all electronic databases are considered. Findings from this review cannot be generalized for all electronic resources since no random selection was used to determine which electronic databases were to be used.

The quality of the studies was assessed using the PICO question alongside the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Each study had to indicate the population study, intervention used, control to test the effectiveness of an intervention based on an outcome. The randomized control trial is considered a gold standard as far as causation is concerned (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). However, the issue of sampling was not included in the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Subsequently, there might have been some quality issues in the study reports related to sampling that might have been passed on to the review.

The design characteristics and study details were sufficiently discussed as far as the current integrative review is concerned. The procedure for carrying out the review has been well described. In addition, the reader can clearly understand what the variables under study are. Themes to help in the analysis and interpretation of data have been clearly stated. Findings from the different studies have also been displayed in detail.

The findings of the review have been integrated with previous research (Militello, Kelly, & Melnyk, 2012, p. 73-75). Generally, the findings from this study seem to concur with most of the previous research. Fortunately for this integrative review, there is no indication that there was a difference between the findings and previous findings in previous research. However, a researcher or an author of any research work needs to explain why differences occur between his or her literal piece of research report in comparison to others.

This integrative review was able to distinguish between conclusions resulting from sufficient evidence compared to those made from inferior evidence. The generality of the conclusions made without drawing from the evidence of just two or three reported studies explains it. Instead, conclusions were based on consistent findings from all the studies. The conclusion that mobile technology predominates in the technology world is consistent and credible. Another credible and consistent conclusion is that text messaging is effective and reliable.

Conclusion: The integrative research review is ideal for exploration. When one wants to get a general idea of what has been happening, this would be ideal. However, when scientific and effective information is required, the integrative review is not the best. This can be explained by the constant change that is usually taking place almost all the time in every place. Therefore, today this may work but tomorrow it may not because of one reason or the other. I would therefore not solely rely on integrative research review.


Kaiser Family Foundation (2009). Key information on health care costs and their impact. Health care costs, a Primer. Web.

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: A guide to best practice. (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Militello, L.K., Kelly, S.A., & Melnyk, B. M. (2012). Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 9 (2), 66-77. Web.

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