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How to Use SMS Messages in Screening Programmes

How to Use SMS Messages in Screening Programmes


This is an opportunity to shape the way in which screening programmes send messages to patients.

  • 30 minutes
  • Questionnaire
  • Participate

Taking Part

This opportunity has already taken place


Screening programmes are central to healthcare in the UK. They involve inviting people to test for a variety of illnesses before symptoms develop. Currently there are 11 programmes in the UK testing for disease such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, aortic aneurysm and diseases in new born babies.

Attendance at some of these programmes, such as breast cancer screening, is falling which can delay detection and treatment. One way to encourage people to attend these important appointments is to send SMS (or text) messages.

The use of these messages and their evaluation, however, varies between the differing programmes. In this study, we aim to develop a framework, with the public and screening experts, on how these messages can be successfully used in screening programmes and how new technology can be integrated. By creating a standard guideline, we will be able to maximise the effectiveness of these messages to increase attendance at screening programmes.

Volunteer Criteria

We are looking for anyone over the age of 18, who have been invited previously to any screening programme (including breast, cervical, colorectal cancer screening, aneurysm screening, diabetic eye screening or newborn/baby checks). You do not need to have attended to take part.

What will I be asked to do?

Taking part in this study will involve giving your opinions on what information the messages sent by screening programmes to patients should include. The study will involve a short anonymous questionnaire (taking approximately 30 mins). The results from this questionnaire will feed into more in-depth work looking at these issues.

Individuals who will be available in early 2021 are encouraged to highlight their interest in joining future opportunities to be involved in this work at the end of the questionnaire. These further roles will involve joining focus groups giving deeper impressions of messaging and potentially joining  study management group for the development of new messages.

When and where?

The questionnaire is available here. All information will be anonymous and no identifiable information is requested.

The questionnaire will take approximately 30 minutes.

Will I get anything for taking part?

This study gives the unique opportunity to shape the way in which healthcare messages are sent to the public from screening programmes, and share their opinions on this important topic. You will also gain experience on how decision-making processes in healthcare are undertaken

Imperial College London

Privacy Notice

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (the “College” or “Imperial”) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your relationship with us, in accordance with the applicable data protection legislation and the College’s Data Protection Policy.

Please find the Privacy Notice here.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Amish Acharya on the email address below:


Taking Part

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