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Offering an app to book cervical screening appointments: A service evaluation

Ryan, M; Marlow, L; Forster, A; Ruwende, J; Waller, J; (2019) Offering an app to book cervical screening appointments: A service evaluation. Journal of Medical Screening 10.1177/0969141319871312. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To assess the feasibility of offering women who are overdue for cervical screening the use of a smartphone app to book their appointment. / Methods: Women who were at least six months overdue for cervical screening in three general practice surgeries in a deprived East London borough were identified from practice records. Staff sent batches of text messages informing women that they were overdue for screening, and inviting them to download an app to book their appointment. / Results: Across the three practices, 2632 eligible women were identified. Valid mobile phone numbers were available for 1465 women. One woman had opted out of receiving text messages, so messages were sent to 1464 women. Of these, 158 (11%) booked a screening appointment within five months. The majority of these women booked without using the app (72%; 113/158); just over a quarter booked via the app (28%; 45/158). / Conclusions: Just over 10% of cervical screening non-attenders booked an appointment in response to a text message with a link to a downloadable app; however, only one in four of these women booked using the app. This suggests that the text message reminder was likely to have been the key ‘active ingredient’ for most women, rather than the app itself. Future research could explore the optimal message for a text reminder in this context and evaluate the inclusion of a link to existing online booking systems.

Type: Article
Title: Offering an app to book cervical screening appointments: A service evaluation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0969141319871312
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0969141319871312
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Cancer screening, digital health, text message reminders, screening uptake, primary care, behavioural interventions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087086
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