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Texting for Patient Care (iCare)

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2021
1 page

This study assessed the effectiveness of a post-treatment program in which patients treated for assault engaged in a 4-week text-message program (“iCare”) that assessed patients’ safety and well-being, as well as whether they needed assistance with various follow-up procedures. 


The intent of this texting program was to increase the program’s post-exam communication with patients and thus enable nurses to provide the patients information related to their well-being and facilitate access to follow-up healthcare appointments. Such personalized, interactive text messaging enabled nurses to use reflective listening skills to build individualized rapport with patients and respond to their needs. Patients could also mention new concerns or ask questions on topics not related to standardized messaging. Of the patients enrolled in iCare, 65 percent responded at least once to a text message during the program; only two of the patients responded to every text; 22.5 percent of the patients requested that the texts be stopped before the end of the program; 42.5 percent of the patients remained in the program for the full 4 weeks. For one-third of the patients, their phone carriers had the texts blocked because they did not support shortcodes. Only a few patients responded to the nurse’s offers of assistance. The extent to which the intended benefits of the program were realized must be measured against the staffing resources required for such two-way interactive text messaging.

Date Published: July 22, 2021