Teaching Breast Cancer Screening via Text Messages as Part of Continuing Education for Working Nurses: A Case-control Study


Introduction: Although continuing education is necessary for practicing nurses, it is very difficult to organizetraditional classes because of large numbers of nurses and working shifts. Considering the increasing developmentof mobile electronic learning, we carried out a study to compare effects of the traditional face to face method withmobile learning delivered as text messages by cell phone. Materials and
Methods: Sixty female nurses workingin our hospital were randomly divided into class and short message service (SMS) groups. Lessons concerningbreast cancer screening were prepared as 54 messages and sent in 17 days for the SMS group, while the classgroup participated in a class held by a university lecturer of breast and cancer surgery. Pre- and post-testswere undertaken for both groups at the same time; a retention test also was performed one month later. Forstatistical analysis, the paired T test and the independent sample T test were used with SPSS software version16; p<0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Mean age and mean work experience of participants in class andSMS groups was 35.8±7.2, 9.8±6.7, 35.4±7.3, and 11.5±8.5, respectively. There was a significant increase in meanscore post-tests (compared with pre-tests) in both groups (p<0.05). Although a better improvement in scores ofretention tests was demonstrated in the SMS group, the mean subtraction value of the post- and pretests as wellas retention- and pre-tests showed no significant difference between the 2 groups (p=0.3 and p =0.2, respectively).
Conclusions: Our study shows that teaching via SMS may probably replace traditional face to face teaching forcontinuing education in working nurses. Larger studies are suggested to confirm this.