Publications & Reports

The medium and the message: fitting sound health promotion methodology into 160 characters.

Lim MS, Wright C, Hellard ME
Burnet Institute, Centre for Population Health, Melbourne, Australia. [email protected]


Text messaging health promotion projects continue to proliferate due to their relative low-cost, simplicity, non-intrusiveness, and proven effectiveness in several randomized controlled trials. In these past trials, participants have typically been recruited through traditional means, received the text messaging intervention, and then completed evaluation. In this issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Sheoran et al have demonstrated how use of text messaging alone can be a feasible method for all three stages: recruitment, intervention, and evaluation. Use of text messages without any other modes of communication could be a key to population-level dissemination and wider uptake of health promotion messages. However, in the rush to utilize new technologies and in the brevity of 160 characters, it should not be forgotten that quality, rigour, and careful development remain essential in any health promotion practice.


  • Journal: JMIR mHealth and uHealth
  • Published: 03/11/2014
  • Volume: 2
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: e40