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Papers of the Week

2019 Mar 29

JMIR Res Protoc



Screening Depression and Related Conditions via Text Messaging Versus Interview Assessment: Protocol for a Randomized Study.


Depression is an often underdiagnosed and, therefore, untreated comorbidity for low-income, racially or ethnically diverse patients with a chronic illness such as diabetes. Recent updates from the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines in 2016 recommend depression screening for every adult but does not suggest the mode of assessment. Short message service (SMS) text messaging is an inexpensive, private, and scalable approach to provide depression screening and monitoring; it can also alleviate many barriers, such as transportation, childcare, and clinical visit time faced by the low-income population, in receiving a diagnosis of depression. Current evidence is inconsistent in comparing technology-mediated assessment versus interviewer (INTW) assessment in collecting sensitive health information, as some studies suggest that technology encourages self-disclosure while the other studies show the opposite effect.