Engagement with a Text-Messaging Intervention Improves Adherence in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: Brief Report.


Adherence to diabetes management is a challenge for adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Positive psychology interventions have improved adherence to treatment recommendations in adults with chronic health conditions but have not been widely tested in pediatric populations. We hypothesized that higher engagement with a text-messaging intervention to promote positive affect would increase the effects on diabetes management among adolescents with T1D. Adolescents with T1D (n = 48) and their caregivers were randomized to either an attention control condition or a novel positive psychology intervention delivered through personalized automated text messaging. We examined rates of engagement (percent response to text messages) in relation to demographic factors, and we explored the effect of engagement in relation to adherence and glycemic control. Adolescent engagement was good (mean response rate of 76%) over the 8-week intervention. Engagement was related to adolescents' gender, race, baseline glycemic control, and blood glucose monitoring, but not to treatment type (pump vs. injection), diabetes duration, age, or household income. There was a significant effect of level of engagement on better caregiver-reported adherence, but adolescents' engagement was not related to self-reported adherence or glycemic control. These results indicate feasibility and initial efficacy of using automated text-messaging to deliver an intervention aimed at promoting adherence in adolescents with T1D.